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We just HAD to see a Barbary Ape!
The last thing we did in Gibraltar was take the #4 Bus from the Guard House area in town around to the more rugged side of the Rock, where the impressive cliffs towered almost vertically above our route. Once again, things did not quite work out as we had planned due to some sort of road works halting our progress in the middle of nowhere. The driver said we would have to get off there and wait for an incoming bus to take us back to town because this was as far as he was going. I think schedules were a bit mixed up too because of the run-up to New Years Eve celebrations in just a few hours time.
As it turned out, as we stood there beside the buildings crowded in the narrow area between the sea and the cliffs, a small troupe of Barbary Macaque's made its way along the rooftops above us! That was great, because they were one of the things we really wanted to see during our short time in Gibraltar.
It is not known if they are descendants of the animals brought over by the Moors in the 700s or are remnants of an ancient European population but, according to Wikipedia: "The Barbary Macaque population in Gibraltar is the last in the whole of the European continent, and, unlike that of North Africa, is thriving. At present there are some 230 animals in five troupes occupying the area of the Upper Rock, though occasional forays into the town may result in damages to personal property. As they are a tailless species, they are also known locally as Barbary Apes or Rock Apes, despite the fact that they are monkeys (Macaca sylvanus). The Barbary Macaque is considered Gibraltar's unofficial national animal."
It was a great way to end our little Gibraltar excursion as we hopped on the next bus and headed for the border to continue our eastward journey in Spain.
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When at the top of the rock -...
When at the top of the rock - go see some of the locals!! only joking. The apes have learnt to fleece tourists too, when the sightseeing taxis (expensive) go past they sit in the middle of the road and will not move until they get some food, evolving fast?
the Barbary monkeys
they mostly mind their own business, groming each other and enjoying sunbathing, when hungry they roam around and steal what they can
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Gibraltar Travel Guide
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