A female Sulawesi crested black macaque named Bella at Durrell Wildlife Park in Jersey, England recently made a daring escape to be with the one she loves. Her mate, Malino, was removed from his ladies so that zookeepers could introduce a new dominant male. But Bella wasn't going to take that lying down.
Bella first led the other female macaques on a search for Malino. This resulted in Durrell staff erecting an electric fence to keep them in their habitat. But Bella had other tricks up her sleeve. She managed to short out the currents with wet grass (um, would you have thought of that?). Durrell spokesman Rick Jones said: "These monkeys are extremely intelligent and Bella had learned this either by trial and error or by watching another monkey do it."
The wildlife park needs to separate Malino from his troupe to maintain the genetic pureness of the group, Malino having already fathered several members.
Alas, there will be no happy ending for Bella and Malino. Zookeepers are adamant about introducing a new male, and will isolate Bella if that's what it takes for her to behave. They hope that Kato, the new dominant male, will be able to distract the ladies from missing Malino, but for Bella, that might be hard. Malino's paperwork to move him to another wildlife park is already underway, and the pair will be separated for good.