A zoo in Australia has closed down to the public in order to allow its community of macaques to grieve in private after the death of one of its young members.
The move by Camperdown Wildlife Centre in Dundee City is being praised by supporters.
On Friday, staff found that one of the young members of a troop of lion-tailed macaques has passed away. Because lion-tailed macaques are highly social species, officials knew that it would not be easy for the troop to get over the loss.
As part of their natural grieving process, the members i the troop have been guarding and preening the body of the young macque which will help the whole group come to terms with the death.
We hope you understand that the closure of the Wildlife Centre recently, to allow our macaques time to carry out this process, is the right decision for our animals. The closure today will lead in to the new year holidays where we will reopen on Thursday the 4th January. Many thanks to everyone who has passed on their concerns during this difficult time.
Camperdown Wildlife Centre only received the troop of 11 lion-tailed macaques in late October. When the troops first arrived from Belfast Zoo, the zoo was closed for one day to allow the new inhabitants to settle in to their new home.
The troop consists of four males and seven females. It’s not known which of the macaque died and the cause of death yet.
The macaques are classed as endangered and the total wild population is estimated to be less than 4,000 individuals, made up of 47 isolated subpopulations in seven different locations.
Since the announcement, the zoo has been given lots of support.