British Overseas Territory Gibraltar has had a long history of war and power that is known to the world, but there’s a fun side to the territory too that is going to interest folks big time. This town is home to the only set of wild monkeys in all of Europe that have evolved since time immemorial, with a distinct set of psychological approach.

YouTuber, Johnny Harris has documented his visit to Europe, and showcased the only set of wild monkeys that are available on The Rock of Gibraltar. These monkeys have a long and interesting history since 1704, when an Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar from Spain during the War of Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne.

Gibraltar, a town of 30 thousand population, has a totally Spanish feel to it, but is owned by the British. To add to this strangeness, there are wild monkeys of the Barbary macaque species, who are the only primates living in the wild in Europe other than humans. They have been there since forever and are indigenous to Northern Africa.

Since Gibraltar and Northern Africa is divided by the Mediterranean Sea, nobody knows how these monkeys reached there. A section of the locals believe that pirates brought them in the town in the 14th century from Morocco, while others believe they came about thousand years ago. People there are banned to feed the monkeys as they are used to arranging their own food. They are also trained to have minimum interaction with humans.

The territory of Gibraltar was subsequently ceded to Great Britain “in perpetuity” under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. During World War II it was an important base for the Royal Navy as it controlled the entrance and exit to the Mediterranean Sea, which is only 13 Km wide at this naval “choke point” and remains strategically important till this day with half the world’s seaborne trade passing through the strait. Currently, Gibraltar’s economy is largely based on tourism, online gambling, financial services, and cargo ship refuelling services.

First Published | 8 October 2017 2:02 PM
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