British girl, 4, and her grandmother treated in hospital after being attacked by

at 07:04 PM, 9 Oct 13 (4 years ago)
(18 | Newbie) (m)
'Terrifying': A British four-year-old girl and her grandmother were rushed to hospital after being attacked by a Barbary macaque (not pictured) in Gibraltar

A British four-year-old girl and her grandmother were rushed to hospital after a 'terrifying' ape attack on Gibraltar.

They were pounced on when they came face to face with a Barbary macaque while visiting the Upper Rock nature reserve.

The monkey bit the four-year-old, known only as Sophia, above the ankle and then went for the grandmother, named Jean, who suffered serious bruising and scratches to her arm.

Sophia's mother, Nichola, a Gibraltar resident, told how the group of five were trapped as she fearfully held onto her youngest daughter during the unprovoked attack.

She said: 'It was really vicious. I don’t think I’ve ever been so frightened in my life.'

The injured girl was treated for the bite to her ankle and swelling while her grandmother suffered arm injuries from fighting off the animal.

Both were released from hospital the same day.

The two adults and the children had stepped off the cable car and were climbing a spiral staircase to a viewing terrace when they encountered the monkey on the last few steps, it was reported by the Gibraltar Chronicle.

Nichola said: 'It was terrifying. When I close my eyes, it’s all I can see.'

Last November Dr John Cortes, Gibraltar's environment minister, told how the apes had 'lost their fear of humans' and regarded people as a source of rich food.

In May, a management plan was announced by the Gibraltar government for the 230-strong macaque colony which is a major tourist attraction.

Feeding the Barbary Macaques is illegal and punishable by a fine but the law is routinely ignored, particularly by tourists who flock to the areas around Apes Den and the Siege Tunnels at the top of the Rock.

Signs at the top of the Rock warn against interacting with the apes.


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