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Escaped monkey returned to Irish wildlife park

By Daniel Uria
A Colobus monkey, like the one pictured above, was returned to its enclosure Friday after escaping from Fota Wildlife Park in Ireland earlier in the week. 
 Photo by Duncan Wright/Wikimedia Commons
A Colobus monkey, like the one pictured above, was returned to its enclosure Friday after escaping from Fota Wildlife Park in Ireland earlier in the week. Photo by Duncan Wright/Wikimedia Commons

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Aug. 25 (UPI) -- A monkey that escaped from a wildlife park in Ireland for about a week is back safe in its enclosure.

Fota Wildlife Park‏ in Cork tweeted that the escaped Colobus monkey had been captured and returned safely to the park on Friday.

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"Cheeky Chops, the Colobus monkey who made a daring escape has now been safely returned to his habitat - thanks to all who contacted us!" the park said.

Fota Wildlife Park spokesperson Roisin Fitzgerald said the park quickly took steps to track down Cheeky Chops after he went missing on Tuesday.

"Recently one of our residents a Colobus Monkey, escaped from his habitat here at Fota Wildlife Park," Fitzgerald said. "Our escape protocol was immediately implemented by Fota Wildlife Park's trained animal rangers, and we expect he will be rescued very soon, and safely returned to his home."

Earlier Friday Cheeky Chops returned to a tree in the wildlife park's parking lot, where rangers worked to coax him back to his enclosure.

"We don't want to be chasing him. He is making his way back to our enclosure. He spent one night in a toilet nearby. He was last night and yesterday down towards the main road. He has now made his way back in," park director Sean McKeown said. "Once it quietens down we hope he will go back to the enclosure. He doesn't want to be away from his other Colobus mates. There are a group of males there and they go around together and the idea is that he will follow and go back to that group."

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Cheeky Chops was eventually returned to his home where, Fitzgerald said staff place a focus on animal welfare.

"We are constantly reviewing our animal welfare policies here at Fota Wildlife Park, so that we can continue to improve our animal and visitors' experiences and ensure that the animals who live here can continue to thrive," she said.

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