Armed monkeys wreak havoc at UK safari park

So who has "baboons armed with 'knives and chainsaw' at a UK safari park" as part of their 2020 calamity bingo card?

Well, that is the curious report coming from the Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside.

The Sunday Times says the monkeys have been spotted with a host of weapons including knives, screwdrivers and even a chainsaw, and there are claims that pranksters are weaponising them so they inflict damage to cars.

The park hosts a famous attraction whereby visitors can see animals including lions, camels, rhinos and baboons during an 8km safari drive.

The park does warn drivers that the primates are "great fun, very inquisitive and always a barrel of laughs, but can cause damage to your car".

A park worker says the baboons could have accessed the weapons by raiding toolboxes.

A mechanic in a nearby town was quoted by The Sunday Times as saying he had two customers who were "victims" of the baboons.

"The kids start chirping up saying they want monkeys all over the car, and the next thing you know, you're driving home with no registration plate.'

Knowsley Safari Park says many of the claims are just urban myths.

"We believe many of these stories have grown in exaggeration as they've been retold, with embellishment to make the objects that are sometimes found in the enclosure seem more exciting and unbelievable."

The park normally runs a Baboon Bus, where visitors can be driven up close to the animals, avoiding any potential car damage, although the service is not operating currently due to coronavirus restrictions.

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