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WATCH: Honshu is on the move again – but this time he is being escorted!

By Gavin Musgrove

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Honshu will be moving to a new home today with some of his pals from the Highland Wildlife Park. Picture: RZSS.
Honshu will be moving to a new home today with some of his pals from the Highland Wildlife Park. Picture: RZSS.

Honshu the Japanese macaque who captured the attention of people around the world when he escaped from Highland Wildlife Park is being moved to Edinburgh Zoo today.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), the wildlife conservation charity which operates both parks, is relocating seven-year-old Honshu to the capital with three males from his troop to give him a fresh start after his time on the run.

Darren McGarry, head of living collections at RZSS, said, "Primate group dynamics can be very complex, especially in a situation like this where an individual is separated from the troop for an extended period of time.

“Honshu is also of the age when macaques disperse or move away, so it would have been very difficult to reintroduce him to his wider family.

"Instead, we want to create a new, mini-troop for him, comprised of three other male macaques of similar age – just like with our giraffes.

"Thankfully they have settled in well together at the park and are now being moved to their new home at the zoo.”

RZSS animal keepers and vets, and an animal detection expert, successfully returned Honshu following his escape in January using a thermal imagine drone after he was discovered stealing food from a birdfeeder in a garden not far from the attraction by Kincraig.

Keith Gilchrist, living collections operations manager at Highland Wildlife Park, said, "We were amazed by the level of interest in Honshu’s escape from across the globe but our only priority throughout the process was to secure his safe return.

"I’m glad to say that thanks largely to the expertise of the team involved in his recapture, as well as a groundswell of support from the local community, we were able to do just that.

"Now it’s time for Honshu’s next chapter.”

The monkeys will stay indoors for the first few days before being able to explore the outdoor area of their new enclosure, opposite the zoo’s red river hogs.

You can adopt Honshu and rest of the macaques at the zoo and park by visiting rzss.org.uk/adopt.

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