Sunday, December 4, 2011

Playful Monkeys In Longleat Safari Park

Longleat Safari Park, in Wiltshire, England was opened in 1966 and was the first drive-through safari park outside Africa. The park is situated in the grounds of Longleat House, an English stately home that attracts tourists and is the current home of the 7th Marquess of Bath. The safari park was the first of its kind anywhere in the world and was considered to be a massive breakthrough in the way in which captive animals were kept, with the animals roaming freely and the visitors in cages (cars). Longleat Safari Park and the whole concept of safari parks were the brainchild of Jimmy Chipperfield (1912–1990), former co-director of Chipperfield's Circus.

Today Longleat's collection comprises over 500 animals, and the whole estate is situated on 9,000 acres (36.42 km2) of Wiltshire countryside

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Following a two-year gap in which they were denied access, cars are set to be allowed back into the monkey enclosure at Longleat Safari Park. To prepare monkeys for the stream of new automobile visitors following redevelopment at Longleat Safari park, the 100 excitable residents rhesus monkeys were treated to playtime with an old Mercedes to help vent their frustrations.

Ian Turner, deputy head warden, said: "We thought it was best to give them their very own car to get them back into the swing of things before the start of the new season. It's clear to see from our test run however, that mischief is still very much in the front of their minds and they haven't forgotten their fondness for cars."

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