On a stroll in the Lot in the monkey forest

Heading for Rocamadour. The city is home to a protected park, open to the public, where tribes of Barbary macaques live, which can be observed during a walk on the heights of the city.



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The monkey forest offers total immersion in the world of more than 150 Barbary macaques roaming free in a 20-hectare forest.  (COCHISE ORY - DORD VALLEY)

Located in Rocamadour in the Lot, the monkey forest has been home to Barbary macaques for 50 years, who live in a 20-hectare wooded park. Visitors can immerse themselves in this protected space, escorted by Julien, the site’s caretaker.

The monkey forest in Rocamadour is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its opening this year.  (COCHISE ORY - DORDOGNE VALLEY)

Visitors are invited to put on gloves to feed the monkeys, hand in hand. They also wear a green jacket, in order to be identified as a caregiver for a day. “So there you enter a park where there are 150 Barbary macaques, in total freedom, specifies the guide. The first instruction is to never touch them, and not to stare into their eyes, they could take it as aggression. They come from Morocco and Algeria and live in mountainous areas between 800 and 2200 meters above sea level.

The opportunity to observe them very closely. And in particular the baby monkeys that the males carry on their backs. “A male will introduce a baby to another male, and through this, they will strengthen their friendly bonds.” When suddenly, we witness a small fight between males. “They scream, firstly to impress each other by showing their large canines, the cry also allows them to rally their network of friends.”

The Barbary Macaque has been classified as an endangered species since 2008 by the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature).  (COCHISE ORY - DORDOGNE VALLEY)

The oldest monkey is 32 years old. “It’s an exceptional age, it corresponds to more than 110 years in humans,” comments the professional. And to add that here, “we have rich and abundant food, there are no predators. And the animals are medically monitored if necessary.”

The monkey forest is open from March 23, child entry 7 euros and 11 euros for adults.


Dordogne tourist office

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