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Monkeys Leave Quebec Safari Park, On The Run In Canada And Across US Border

July 2, 1989 GMT

HEMMINGFORD, Quebec (AP) _ About 80 Japanese monkeys were on the loose Saturday after escaping from their compound at a safari park, and some were sighted across the border in New York state, zoo officials said.

Officials discovered the monkeys had escaped Thursday morning, said Danny Kyle, an owner of Parc Safari, about 56 miles southeast of Montreal.

″Apparently they managed to find or create a faulty hinge on the door″ to the compound where they were housed, Kyle said in a telephone interview.

Most of them on Saturday were in a large wooded area surrounding the reserve, but 10 or 12 broke away from the group and made it over the border to the United States.

Some were seen by local residents and state troopers at Perrys Mills, N.Y., a town three miles south of the park.

The small primates, called snow monkeys, come from the mountains of Japan and weigh between 15 and 20 pounds. The animals are mischievous but not dangerous, said Kyle.

Park employees formed a human chain to try to force the monkeys back into the reserve and stop them from reaching the border about a mile away. They also ″tried to entice them back into the compound by means of apples, oranges and bananas″ Kyle said, but the attempt was unsuccessful.

″Apparently they got lost or separated,″ said Kyle.

″The group includes males, females and babies,″ he said. ″They tend to stick together in groups led by one dominant male. . .. They were all born in captivity, so that’s in our favor too, they are not used to having to look for food themselves.″