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Barbary monkeys going ape on Gibraltar

A rare female Saki Monkey, shipped from Brazil, is shown at her new breeding facility at Mountainview Conservatory near Vancouver, British Columbia on October 5, 2007. The offspring of the critically endangered Saki Monkey will be re-introduced into the wild of their native French Guyana. (UPI Photo / Tim King)
A rare female Saki Monkey, shipped from Brazil, is shown at her new breeding facility at Mountainview Conservatory near Vancouver, British Columbia on October 5, 2007. The offspring of the critically endangered Saki Monkey will be re-introduced into the wild of their native French Guyana. (UPI Photo / Tim King) | License Photo

MADRID, April 18 (UPI) -- Veterinarians are trying to track down 25 Barbary monkeys that are allegedly terrorizing tourists on Gibraltar.

Britain's' Daily Telegraph said the pack of macaques has broken into hotel rooms and was spotted scavenging in garbage bins in the center of town.

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The monkeys are to be killed by lethal injection, the newspaper said.

"Children are frightened. People cannot leave their windows open for fear of the monkeys stealing," Tourism Minister Ernest Britto told the newspaper. "Apes can bite, and contact with them runs the risk of salmonella or hepatitis."

More than 200 Barbary monkeys, often incorrectly referred to as Barbary apes, live on Gibraltar. The animals are a major tourist attraction and legend has it that Gibraltar will cease to be a British colony if the monkeys leave, the newspaper said.

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