Barbary Ape

Commonly known as the Barbary macaque, the Barbary ape is a medium-sized, heavily built monkey. Once widespread through North Africa the Barbary ape is now only found in small areas of Morocco and Algeria. Some live in Gibraltar in southern Spain, and these are the only free-ranging primates, other than humans, that inhabit modern-day Europe. They live in treeless cliffs and alpine forests of oak and cedar.

The Barbary ape feeds on leaves, bark, seeds of conifers, sprouts, roots, herbs, and invertebrates.

The breeding season is usually in early winter. The spring months seem to represent a prominent peak in births after a gestation period of 5-7 months. Usually there is only one young born, occasionally twins. The males in this species show a great deal of parental care for the young – grooming, protecting and playing with them. This may be because they are unsure of the paternity of the young. Females mate with more than one male and therefore it is not easy to determine paternity.

Barbary Ape @ Safari Niagara

  • Safari Niagara is home to three Barbary Apes, Rocky, Leiah & Blue.
  • Rocky’s Birthday: June 30, 1997
  • Leiah’s Birthday: June 23, 1990
  • Blue’s Birthday July 7, 2001
  • Our Barbary Apes can be found in the Primates section of the zoo after Tram Stop #2.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Cercopithecidae
Genus: Macaca
Species: Macaca Sylvanus

Did you know?

  • Barbary macaques are the most popular attraction in Gibraltar.
  • Cheek pouches that go down the sides of their necks are used to store food, and can hold about the same amount of food as the stomach.
  • Barbary macaques live in large troops of about a hundred members.