I don't much like monkeys. And by monkey, I mean anything that even remotely looks like one, so that would include apes, chimps, Mandrills, gibbons, Jerry Lewis and the Olson twins. A few weeks ago I vented my spleen against the thieving little self-gratifiers in Gib and during the passing of those few weeks my opinion hasn't changed much. I still hate them.
Having said that, I don't want to see them dead either.
Dead? you ask. Indeed. Gib's government has just announced its intention to "cull" about 25 of Gibraltar's barbary apes which have made their home on the east side of the rock at Catalan Bay. Homeowners in Catalan Bay, which is seeing a flurry of building activity (namely villas in the half a million pound range) are none too pleased to see the thieving little self-gratifiers in their backyards. And on their terraces. And rummaging through their garbage cans.
Homeowners are probably thrilled to bits but others are not so happy. Conservationists, including the International Primate Protection League (IPPL), have been noticeably vocal in their condemnation of the ape-genocide. Killing the apes will not solve the problem of population mismanagement. As primatologist Robert Martin - who boycotted the last cull in 2003 - says in regard to the current situation: "It is quite disgraceful that, despite receiving sound advice in 1997, the people in charge of the macaques have taken no effective action to manage the population in a way that would benefit all concerned."
While I don't doubt that the thieving little self-gratifiers are a humongous pain in the ass - scrounging through garbage, entering & ransacking hotel rooms, and biting those who venture too close to them, and just being butt-ugly - putting the lot down seems a bit extreme. And will Gib's gunslingers stop there? Slippery slope, my friend!
An online petition has been created by the IPPL to draw the public's attention to this crise des apes. Should you want to help save the thieving little self-gratifiers, click here. They will undoubtedly thank you ... long enough to distract you from that picnic basket you're carrying.