Northern Ireland

Escaped monkey recaptured in Newtownabbey

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Media captionThe monkey was captured with the assistance of the Northern Ireland Fire Service

A monkey that escaped from Belfast zoo has been recaptured, after zoo staff shot it with a tranquilliser gun.

The animal fell from a tree after it was sedated by zoo staff at Gideon's Green in Newtownabbey, County Antrim.

A hydraulic lift, supplied by the fire service, was used to help zoo keepers reach the monkey in the trees.

It was one of six lion-tailed macaques that escaped from the zoo on Monday. Five have now been recaptured but one monkey is still missing.

Up to 12 zoo staff arrived in Gideon's Green after the monkey was spotted up a tree on Friday afternoon.

A large crowd gathered to watch their attempts to capture the animal.

After it was shot with the tranquilliser, the monkey fell down through several branches of the tree.

Firefighters recovered the unconscious animal from one of the branches and brought it down to safety.

Image caption A hydraulic lift, supplied by the fire service, was used to help zoo keepers reach the monkey

The missing macaques had been spotted several times in the north Belfast and Newtownabbey areas over recent days.

On Thursday, one of the monkeys was captured by zoo keepers in the grounds of Belfast Castle.

It tried to run before it could be sedated but one of the zoo staff caught the animal and "rugby tackled" it to the ground.

Another escaped macaque scaled a "peace line" fence outside a primary school in Newtownabbey.

It was spotted, perched on the peace line, during the school run on Thursday morning.

Children at Hazelwood Integrated primary school, on the Whitewell Road, enticed the monkey down from the fence by offering it bananas.

However, the animal took the bananas and escaped before zoo staff arrived.

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