At the Apes' Den (Queen's Gate) and in the area of the Great Siege Tunnels there is the rare opportunity to see semi-wild primates at close quarters. If you let them, the monkeys will be their captivating selves and behave in their everyday natural manner.
The Apes are a species of tailless monkeys called Barbary Macaques. These Macaques can be found in Morocco and Algeria, with those in Gibraltar being the only free-living monkeys in Europe today.
There are about 160 monkeys living in Gibraltar in two main areas. About 20 of them at Apes' Den can be observed closely. However, the largest pack resides in the Great Siege area.
These are the large monkeys, with big narrow faces. There are usually 4 at the Apes' Den with 4 more nearby.
Male and female youngsters can often be seen playing together.
These have black fur until about 4 months old. They are vulnerable, so please keep your distance!
Male Barbary Macaques are unusual amongst primates in that they take a friendly, close interest in infants. You can often see males carrying babies or keeping an eye on them. Sometimes this communal infant care causes stress, you may see pouting, threats and tooth-chattering when a mother disputes custody of her baby with an over enthusiastic baby-sitter.
Male Macaques live for about 15 to 17 years and females live 18 to 22 years. Every birth and death is recorded by Sites Management and each ape is given an official name at birth.
If you see only a few active monkeys on site at first, please be patient and look carefully at the cliff/trees where you will probably spot some more. They spend over 30% of their day interacting with visitors but remember, they are still semi-wild animals. They need time to rest and take part in other 'monkey activities', free from interference.