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Drones track monkey roaming Highlands after zoo escape

A monkey that escaped from a zoo in the Highlands three days ago has been tracked on film by drones.

The Japanese macaque broke loose from the Highland Wildlife Park in Kingussie on Sunday after finding a way out of his enclosure.

He was later spotted sitting on a garden fence and taking nuts from a bird feeder in the nearby village of Kincraig.

Experts searching for the monkey have been able to follow his progress using drones, with zoo staff saying he is making his way closer to the park.

With help from BH Wildlife Consultancy, the park's keepers were able to follow the macaque for 45 minutes on Tuesday using drones.

However, they were unable to retrieve him.

"Unfortunately, he [the monkey] wasn't in a position where we were confident we could bring him in safely, but he is making his way closer to the park," Keith Gilchrist, living collections operations manager at Highland Wildlife Park, said.

Weather warnings of strong winds in the area on Wednesday mean the team tracking him "won't be able to fly the drones but will be using thermal imaging cameras," Mr Gilchrist added.

"We're continuing to ask locals to please bring any obvious potential food sources like bird feeders or food waste inside," he said.

"Although the macaque is not presumed dangerous to humans or pets, our advice is to not approach him but to contact our hotline on 07933928377 with any sightings."

Carl Nagle, who spotted the monkey treating himself to nuts from his bird feeder on Sunday, previously told Sky News the animal disappeared into the trees before keepers arrived at his home.

Speaking to Sky News on the UK Tonight with Sarah Jane Mee, Mr Nagle said: "I was woken by a telephone call by my daughter telling me there: 'Dad, there's a monkey on your street'."

He then added: "He [the monkey] was and probably is still living his best life. He had a plentiful supply of food from my feeders and probably many more in the neighbours.

"We've all been asked to take them in now."

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The Japanese macaque, also known as the snow monkey, is the most northerly living non-human primate, according to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

The wildlife park houses a large group of the monkeys after successfully breeding the species.

If you spot the missing monkey, call 07933928377 or email comms@rzss.org.uk.