With their human-like facial expressions, simian fingers and opposable thumbs, monkeys tend to be one of the most popular attractions at any zoo.
But behind that cute and cheeky exterior lies a savage beast. Possibly.
According to the Camden New Journal, over one visitor a month on average is bitten by the Squirrel Monkeys at London Zoo.
A health and safety inspection, released under the Freedom of Information Act, shows that over a twelve month period last year, 15 people have reported being bitten by the primates. The report also highlights that Squirrel Monkeys have been snatching food out of the hands of visitors and that mobile phones are ‘objects of desire’ for the naughty creatures.
The monkey enclosure underwent ‘revolutionary’ changes in 2005, enabling visitors to walk through and get closer to the animals, and was opened by Mighty Boosh duo Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt.
It appears however that some visitors are getting closer than perhaps they’d have anticipated.
A spokesperson for ZSL told the New Camden Journal: "Squirrel monkeys are naturally very curious and our family of cheeky Bolivian squirrel monkeys is no exception, which has occasionally led to a small nip on a visitor’s hand."
“To help avoid this, we have volunteers based in the walk-through exhibit who can remind people not to get too close to our monkeys and resist the temptation to give them a stroke."