News update

14 December 2020

Tragic loss of Barbary macaque

It is with great sadness that we confirm the death of Shaw, a 9-year-old Barbary macaque, who was killed in a tragic accident at the Safari Park on 1st December.

Shaw was one of two barbary macaques who escaped from their enclosure.  Our staff managed to coax one macaque back, unharmed, but unfortunately Shaw climbed a tree and jumped into the lion reserve.   Our lion warden was alerted immediately and did all he could to protect the macaque.  However, despite his best efforts, he was unable to distract the lions who responded as they would in the wild, by chasing and sadly killing the animal.   

There were two families of visitors in the Safari Park at the time who we are aware witnessed the incident.  We have spoken with both and given them a full account of what happened.   We have also provided support to the staff directly involved. We are truly sorry that our visitors witnessed what must have been a really distressing sight. This tragic event is being felt deeply by the teams involved who care for our animals around the clock.

We are taking this extremely seriously; the safety of our visitors and the safety and care of our animals is our highest priority. Subsequent to this incident we’ve gone through all the correct procedures – it was immediately reported to BIAZA (The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and to the local authority.

The incident in the lion enclosure has never happened before in the history of Blair Drummond Safari Park and we share the shock and concerns that this took place.

We have conducted an internal review to establish exactly what happened and to ensure this does not happen again. The macaques escaped through the gates to their habitat, which had been opened to allow a visitor car through (the macaque habitat forms part of our drive-thru and the gates are manually operated by a member of staff). The staff member involved was not to blame and raised the alarm immediately.   We have implemented new operating produces and staff training to ensure that this doesn’t happen again, and we have provided support to the staff involved.


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