MONKEYS at Newquay Zoo have been banned from eating bananas - just like their primate pals at Paignton in Devon. They say that allowing animals to gorge on fruit is the same as feeding children on sweets, cake and chocolate. The ban applies to all primates, who instead tuck into a daily diet of steamed carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and cucumber.

Zoo Director, Stewart Muir said the reduced sugar diet had proven to calm the animals down and make them squabble less. He told the Cornish Guardian: "Just like our sister zoo at Paignton, we too have removed fruit from the diet of our monkeys, and indeed all primates. Commercially produced fruit is much higher in sugar; therefore the effects are the same as constantly giving children sweets! So for the health and welfare of the animals we’ve decided to reduce the amount of sugar in their diet."

It emerged earlier this week that Paignton Zoo had enforced a primate banana ban. Amy Plowman, head of conservation, said the fruit was too ripe for monkeys and can cause gastrointestinal problems. She said: "Fruit cultivated for humans is much higher in sugar and much lower in protein and fibre than most wild fruit. It can also cause gastrointestinal problems as their stomachs are mostly adapted to eating fibrous foods with very low digestibility."

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