This trio of juvenile delinquents were spotted playing tug-of-war with a section of car trim which they had recently ‘liberated’ from a passing vehicle at the Wiltshire safari park.
Renowned for their keen interest in all things automotive, the cheeky monkeys’ drive-through enclosure is one of the most popular attractions at Longleat – despite their tendencies to tinker with visitors’ cars.
“As well as catching free lifts on passing cars, they do also occasionally like to keep a ‘souvenir’ of their ride in the shape of loose fitting car parts such as aerials, wiper blades and car trim.
“Car-hopping is equally popular among males and females and even having a toddler in tow doesn’t seem to deter the mums from indulging in some petty car thefts.
“The babies spend the first few weeks of their lives pretty much permanently attached to their mothers, and it would appear they are very fast learners,” he added.
Found throughout south east Asia and across the Indian subcontinent rhesus macaque monkeys thrive in a wide variety of habitats and climates.
In some parts of India they are believed to be sacred with the result that they have lived in close contact with humans for countless centuries – particularly in and around Buddhist and Hindu temples.
Rhesus monkeys are extremely intelligent, naturally inquisitive animals which can learn to manipulate simple tools and distinguish colours and shapes.
Highly sociable they live in family troops of 20 or more led by a dominant male. Food is gathered as a group – one monkey acting as “look-out” for danger, while the others fill their cheek pouches with as much food as they can.