Photo by Richard SchearSee how shocked I look? Trained monkeys jump onto the shoulders of unsuspecting cruise ship passengers disembarking in Casablanca. Apparently their owners expect money for monkey rental, but I don't think Dick paid for the privilege of catching me with my mouth open. I had thought they were the same species as the "apes" found in Gibraltar, but our ship didn't stop there on our Canary Islands cruise out of Barcelona a few years ago, so I had to resort to Wikipedia to confirm my suspicion:
The Barbary Macaque population in Gibraltar is the only one in the whole of the European continent, and, unlike (the macaque population in) North Africa, it is thriving. At present there are some 230 animals in five troupes occupying the area of the Upper Rock, though occasional forays into the town may result in damages to personal property. As they are a tailless species, they are also known locally as Barbary Apes or Rock Apes, despite the fact that they are monkeys (Macaca sylvanus). The local people simply refer to them as monos (meaning monkeys) when conversing in Spanish or Llanito (the local vernacular).
The Gibraltar Barbary Macaque is considered Gibraltar's unofficial national animal.
All Gibraltar Barbary Macaques are descended from North African populations of Barbary Macaques. DNA evidence has established beyond doubt that the present population of Gibraltar macaques is of relatively recent Algerian and Moroccan origin. No traces were found of a third source for their DNA, namely of any ancient, no longer surviving Iberian population. An earlier theory, now dis-proven by the DNA evidence, was that the original Gibraltar macaques were a remnant of populations that had spread throughout Southern Europe during the Pliocene, up to 5.5 million years ago.
The original introduction of the macaques was probably by the Moors (who occupied southern Iberia, including Spain and Portugal, between 711 and 1492) for use as pets.
The macaque population (was) present on The Rock long before Gibraltar became English in the 18th century.