27 July 2020 08:35
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. Knowsley Safari Park says many of the claims are just urban myths.
And one park worker reportedly said: "The baboons have been found with knives and screwdrivers. The worker added: "We're not sure if they are being given weapons by some of the guests who want to see them attack cars, or if they're fishing them out of pick-up trucks and vans. (Image: Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror) The 550-acre safari park reopened on June 15 after lockdown. A car mechanic in Sale, Gtr Manchester, said: "I've had two customers this year who became victims of those 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." The park has denied that its baboons were armed and dangerous.
One member of staff at the park has been left confused by sightings of the baboons wielding weapons and wondered whether the tools had been given to the animals, or if they had taken them from visitors' toolboxes when they stopped in their enclosure. A source said: "The baboons have been found with knives and screwdrivers. I do wonder if it's some of the guests handing them out. "We're not sure if they are being given weapons by some of the guests who want to see them attack cars, or if they're fishing them out of pick-up trucks and vans. "They will literally go into people's toolboxes and carry them around. Previously, the park had to warn visitors that baboons had worked out how to unlock rooftop boxes. But a spokesman for the park suggested armed apes were an urban myth. He added: "We believe many of these stories have grown in exaggeration as they've been retold." Baboons at a popular British safari park have been seen stalking the facility armed with weapons, raising concerns that visitors have been arming the monkeys "for a laugh". The Sunday Times reports that workers at Merseyside's Knowsley Safari Park have seen the primates "armed with knives, screwdrivers and even a chainsaw" and fear that visitors may be giving them tools to aid in their ability to damage vehicles. The animals have reportedly long been willing and able to damage visitors' cars, tearing off wipers and wing mirrors, but the addition of weapons has raised the stakes. One worker at the park told the Times: "We're not sure if they are being given weapons by some of the guests who want to see them attack cars, or if they're fishing them out of pick-up trucks and vans. Advertisement "They will literally go into people's toolboxes and carry them around. One of the baboons was seen lugging around a chainsaw." A mechanic in nearby Sale said the frequent damage was good for business, telling the Times: "I've had two customers this year who became victims of those baboons. "I've a mate with a garage in St Helens and it's exactly the same. "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. Good money for us, mind you, so I'm not complaining." A spokesman for the park told the Times that the stories may have more than a hint of fantasy about them. "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 baboons at Knowsley Safari Park are reportedly being armed with weapons by visitors keen for 'a laugh', the Sunday Times reported. (File picture: PA) Baboons at a popular safari park have been spotted with knives, screwdrivers and even a chainsaw, according to reports. The primates at Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside are already known for their destructive abilities and have been pictured previously pulling things from visitors' cars. But now, some staff are concerned that the baboons are being given weapons "for a laugh" by park-goers, according to the Sunday Times. One worker told the newspaper: "We're not sure if they are being given weapons by some of the guests who want to see them attack cars, or if they're fishing them out of pick-up trucks and vans." The worker said the animals sometimes go into people's toolboxes to grab what they can, adding: "One of the baboons was seen lugging around a chainsaw." View photos The primates, pictured here in 2019 rifling through someone's roofbox, are well-known for causing damage to vehicles. Another said some had been found with knives and screwdrivers and also questioned whether the baboons were being armed by visitors on purpose. The baboons are already known for causing damage to people's vehicles, with one mechanic telling the Sunday Times that they had repaired cars left damaged by the primates. Read more: Police turn away 60 cars headed to Snowdon before 8am to prevent huge traffic jam But the safari park said suggestions that the baboons were being armed with weapons was likely to be an urban myth, saying some tales had "grown in exaggeration" as they had been shared to make objects found in the animals' enclosure "seem more exciting and unbelievable". Knowsley, which is home to animals including lions, tigers and rhinos, reopened on June 15. Its website includes reassurance that measures to make it COVID-Secure are in place, including reminding guests: "If you take a drive through our Baboon Jungle, we're unable to return any car parts that our cheeky baboons may take" whilst pointing out that a "car friendly route" is available.