When you’re on the lam, you may want to lay low to skirt your pursuer. Unless maybe there’s a Yorkshire pudding ripe for the taking.
Highland Wildlife Park in Scotland recently made headlines when its Japanese macaque named Honshu made a break for it. After five days of evading capture, despite being caught on drone footage and spotted by several people, he was finally done in when someone left a Yorkshire pudding outside for birds. Birds, monkeys, same thing?
It all started in late January when Honshu escaped from the wildlife park, located in the village of Kincraig. The park had some help from drone camera operators, and according to their Instagram account, which tracked the pursuit, they were able to follow him with the drones for about 45 minutes a few days in. He still gave them the slip, though.
As the slow-speed chase unfolded, the park urged people in the vicinity to put away any food outside that Honshu may try to eat, meaning bird feeders and any bins with food waste should be taken inside.
One neighbor, Carl Nagle, had some bird feeders out that proved tempting to Honshu. Nagle told The Guardian that his daughter had alerted him to a “monkey in the street”, who was soon trying to get into the bird feeders. One is still permanently bent due to Honshu’s effort.
It was ultimately a woman named Stephanie Bunyan, though, who helped get the macaque back to the park. She had left a Yorkshire putting out overnight for neighborhood birds. It was gone in the morning, and soon after, she saw Honshu looking at her through her window. Bunyan, who lives in the hamlet of Insh within two miles of the park, called the park’s hotline. Crews arrived, saw Honshu eating peanuts from Bunyan’s bird feeders, tranquilized him, and took him back.
He seemed no worse for the wear, though, and had apparently enjoyed a few snacks.
David Field, CEO of Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which runs the park, said, “Honshu has been carefully monitored by our vets and keepers and is doing really well. He doesn’t seem to have lost any weight and has apparently consumed quite a lot of peanuts during the past five days! He will now slowly be reintroduced to other sub-adult males within the group.”
With the gripping story coming to an end, it still brought some fun to the area. Carl Nagle told The Guardian that he thought the world could use a story about an escaped, nut-eating monkey.
He said, “I’ve been thinking why the world needed a story about an escaped monkey in the Highlands. I’ve watched a lot more news bulletins in the last week and most of the news is really bleak viewing.”