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27 July 2020 08:35

Knowsley Safari Baboons

Baboons ‘armed with knives by visitors’ wreak havoc on cars at safari park

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser. 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. Knowsley Safari Park says many of the claims are just urban myths.

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. Stuff News, views and top stories in your inbox. Don't miss our must-read newsletter Sign up Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Invalid Email Baboons at a safari park have been seen wielding knives, screwdrivers and even a chainsaw, it is claimed. Keepers at Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside suspect the animals are being "armed" by visitors "for a laugh". The baboons have been known to rip off windscreen wipers and wing mirrors from cars driving through the enclosure.

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.

It said: "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." Join thousands of others who have signed up for the Daily Record newsletter. Subscribe Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Invalid Email Animal keepers at a safari park believe visitors are "arming" baboons with tools such as knives, screwdrivers and a chainsaw to wreak havoc on cars. The baboons at Knowsley safari park in Merseyside have been known to rip off windscreen wipers and wing mirrors from the cars of visitors. But it has been claimed some visitors are trying to help increase the damage caused to vehicles by the animals by supplying weapons "for a laugh". The 550-acre safari park reopened its doors on June 15 following the coronavirus lockdown.

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.