When people head to visitor attractions such as zoos, they may often be mindful of possible theft. However, the prime suspects are not generally animals. But a number of furry creatures at London Zoo have been spotted stealing glasses from unsuspecting individuals.
Bolivian squirrel monkeys have been taking the items, including designer glasses, from the heads of people as they pass by, the Daily Mail reports. While such incidents have caused amusement, some of those affected may be somewhat annoyed at having lost their cheap prescription sunglasses and other such things.
The boom in glasses theft was sparked by a rise in temperatures, as more people decided to venture to the zoo wearing their designer glasses to protect their eyes from the sun.
In order to put the monkeys off stealing possessions like this, keepers at the tourist attraction have come up with a plan. They are spraying a bitter substance onto the items. The ‘dummy’ glasses have been coated in bitter apple, which is a taste that monkeys dislike. It is hoped that by leaving these glasses lying around, the creatures will be deterred from stealing them in the future.
According to keeper Kate Sanders, the monkeys like looking at themselves in the reflection of the glasses and the worst offenders are the young ones. She stated: “We’ve got five babies who are about a year old – they’re the cheekiest and love the glasses the most.”
One consolation for those who lose their spectacles while at the zoo is that it is now easy to source cheap prescription sunglasses over the internet.Located at the north-east corner of London’s Regent Park, London Zoo currently has more than 720 different species of animal on display and it is open to visitors every day of the year apart from Christmas Day.