Barbary Macaque

Barbary Macaque at Wingham Wildlife Park

Barbary Macaque Natural History


This animal reaches a height of approximately 30 inches and can weigh up to 13 kg.

Habitat and Distribution

With their small population in Gibraltar this is the only primate with a free living range in Europe. It can also however be found in the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and Morocco. Throughout this range it favours living in various forest habitats.


In captivity they will usually live for around 20 years.


This is mostly a vegetarian primate feeding on leaves and roots, while also foraging for nuts, berries, shoots and other fruits. However they will also feed on small amounts of invertebrates, eggs and small animals.

Groups and Breeding

These matriarchal (female led) animals live in groups of between 10 to 30 individuals. These groups have very strong social bonds which could be due to every individual in the group participating in rearing, playing with and grooming the young. Unlike most other macaques the males of this species will spend a lot of time with their offspring, as well as the offspring of others in the group. it has been known for twins to be born to a female however generally only 1 baby is born per female, after a gestation of 147 to 192 days.


This primate faces a vast number of threats which has led to it being classed as Endangered on the IUCN red list in 2008, with an estimated wild population of only between 12,000 and 20,000 left. This species is under threat because of deforestation, hunting & pest control and extensive collection to sell in the illegal pet trade.

Interesting facts

This is a true monkey even though it does not have a tail, which means it is often called the Barbary Ape, which is an incorrect term.

The Barbary Macaques During Your Day Out in Kent

The original group of these macaques came to Wingham Wildlife Park in 2009, being one of the first primate additions to the park.  At that time they were housed where the newer mandrill enclosure stands now, however in 2016 they were moved to a brand new home opposite the main entrance to the park.  All of these macaques have been rescues from different backgrounds and have come to us from Stichting AAP in the Netherlands.  The groups is made up of Momo, the dominant male, alongside his females; Jo, Memouna, Hyatt, Malibu, Dahlila and Hasna.