Apes' Den

Apes' Den information

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The Rock's most famous inhabitants are the tailless Barbary Macaques, the only free-living primates in Europe. Some of the 240 apes hang around the Apes' Den near the middle cable-car station; the others can often be seen at the top cable-car station and the Great Siege Tunnels. Legend has it that when the apes (which may have been introduced from north Africa in the 18th century) disappear from Gibraltar, so will the British.

When numbers were at a low ebb during WWII, the British brought in simian reinforcements from Africa. Recently, however, their numbers have been increasing rapidly and a range of control measures from contraceptive implants to 'translocation' to European zoos have been implemented. Summer is the ideal time to see their newborns, but keep a safe distance to avoid their sharp teeth and short tempers for which they are well known. For those who are nervous around animals or with very small children it may be worth considering a guided tour as the official guides know the moods and habits of the apes. Gibraltar's Ornithological & Natural History Society (ph 72639) is happy to provide details about the apes.