Stay Safe

The Barbary Macaques are a very tolerant species. However the monkeys you will see in Gibraltar are wild animals even though they have a lot of contact with humans. For your safety you must NOT touch them and it against the Law to feed them, with a  penalty of £500. Every now and then a tourist is bitten by a Barbary Macaque. This can be avoided if you follow a few simple rules.

Barbary Macaque Diet

Protect Your Personal Property

Gibraltar's monkeys have learned that tourists may carry food and can unzip bags. Wear your backpack to the front to protect your belongings and do not carry plastic bags.

Interacting with Barabry Macaques

The Barbary Macaques can be intimidated by crowds of tourists as this can make them feel trapped. Keep your distance and do not touch them and do not make sudden movements as they may interpret this as a threat. 

Do not encourage your children to get too close, scream or run around.

Understanding Warning Signs

Just like us, Barbary Macaque's have many facial expressions which can help us to understand their emotional state. However their meanings are different to ours and this section will help you to understand some key warning signs.

Warning Signs

Neutral Expression

Lets start with a neutral expression, here the Barbary Macaque is indifferent. However please avoid making eye contact.

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O Mouth Threat

This expression it is a clear warning that the Barbary Macaque is stressed and wants to be left alone. If you are the target and ignore this warning it may result in a bite. You may be too close to an infant or food or staring at the macaque. Stay calm. Stop what you are doing and move away slowly.

Calling for Support

This young Barbary Macaque is anxious and is calling to the troop for support. Each troop is like a family and the members will defend each other. You will sometimes see an older monkey run in and carry a youngster to safety.


This is another sign that something is making the monkey nervous. If it is something you are doing then stop doing it. If it is someone else feel free to inform them of the monkeys emotional state.


It looks like the Macaque is yawning in fact this is a sign of anxiety. You can see that the Barbary Macaques are armed with a fine set of teeth.

Anxious Smile

here the macaque is telling an other macaque to leave her alone or she will bite

The smile is also an indication of anxiety.

In this case she is telling the other macaque to leave her alone or she will bite. 

Avoid smiling at the monkeys as they will think that you are nervous or anxious.