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La Montagne des Singes

I've always wanted to feed a monkey at least once in my life. I didn't just want to watch it through a window at the zoo, I wanted to be up close to it. That was always my big dream! And at the French monkey park La Montagne des Singes, I was finally able to fulfill it...

19/05/2018

dear(travel)diary,

I had a life-size cuddly toy monkey as a small child. My dream was always that this monkey was real; that I had my own Charly at home. Do you still remember Charly? The series with the monkey & the vet from ZDF? That was my absolute favorite series as a child. That's why I always said that I would get a monkey as a pet (when I grew up).

The older I got, the more I understood that it's not so easy to keep a monkey as a pet. And that it's not necessarily good for the monkey either. So I changed my dream a little: For once in my life, I don't just want to look at a monkey through a pane of glass at the zoo, I want to be up close and personal with it. To feed and cuddle it. A beautiful dream, isn't it?

And at La Montagne des Singes monkey park, the dream has finally come true. At least in part! Because you're not allowed to cuddle the monkeys in the monkey park. But you can feed them! And the monkeys live largely free here. Of course, they are not as free as in the wild. But at least they can move around as they please in a 24-hectare wooded area! The monkeys are certainly better off than in the zoo! And for me, my visit to the monkey park was a small dream come true.

xx Chiara

Info about the park


About the park

The park is home to 200 Barbary macaques that live freely and under natural conditions in a 24-hectare forest area. At the entrance to the park, each visitor is given a handful of popcorn to feed the monkeys. A circular trail leads through the forest. This ensures that the monkeys have large resting areas to which they can retreat.



Opening hours

Opening hours vary from day to day. So it's best to find out for yourself here.

The last admission is 30 minutes before the park closes.



Entry

Adults: 12,00 EUR

Children (5 - 14 years): 8,00 EUR

Children under 5 years: Free

Discount (students, disabled): 10 EUR


The monkeys

Barbary macaques originate from the mountainous forest regions of Morocco and Algeria. There they live at altitudes of over 2000m. As a result, they are used to cold, snowy weather in winter and warm, dry temperatures in summer (similar to the climate in the park).

Barbary macaques are the only African macaques. All other macaque species live in Asia. 300 years ago, Barbary macaques still lived throughout North Africa, but today they are only found in the wild in Morocco and Algeria. The monkeys grow up in large groups. The sex ratio within the groups is usually evenly distributed - in other words, there are roughly as many males as females. Each group colonizes its own territory. There they live on high trees to protect themselves from ground predators, especially at night.

There is a social hierarchy within the group: the leader is an adult male between 10 and 15 years old. On average, this male can hold his own as leader for a few years until a younger male asserts himself. Babies play an important role as social mediators between males. This is because they enable the male monkeys to establish friendly contact with each other. The monkeys also lovingly care for their offspring - unlike other monkey species. They carry, protect and care for their babies.


Animal welfare

In recent decades, the number of Barbary macaques in Morocco and Algeria has fallen dramatically. As a result, the monkeys' existence is now threatened and they are classified as critically endangered on the Red List. The main reasons for this are the destruction of habitats and the illegal animal trade. It is estimated that there are fewer than 8,000 Barbary macaques left in the wild. This means that the population of monkeys in La Montagne des Singes Park forms a valuable reserve population.

The organization of the zoo also makes an enormous contribution to the protection of the endangered animals. On the one hand, the organization tries to sensitize its visitors to the issue through education. On the other hand, they support campaigns to protect the Barbary macaques and ensure the reintegration of Barbary macaque groups in North Africa. Almost 600 Barbary macaques from the park have already been successfully reintroduced into the wild in Morocco. They also conduct behavioral research together with scientists in order to better understand the behavior of the monkey species.