The Barbary macaque population in Gibraltar is the only wild monkey population in Europe
Gibraltar's Barbary macaque population is the only wild monkey population in Europe. CC

Hiker Stuart Gravenell need 40 stitches after a monkey attack in what nurses called the worst monkey-inflicted injury they had ever seen.

Stuart Gravenell was hiking in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, Gibraltar with his 22-year-old son Bradley, when a pack of apes charged at them.

A 3ft 3in Barbary macaque leaped on him and sunk its teeth into his left arm. Gravenell was kept in hospital after the two-inch wound became infected. The retired IT worker from Gloucester said it "totally ruined" his family holiday.

"You just wouldn't believe how traumatic it was. It was a very very upsetting experience," he told the Daily Express. "It was supposed to be a nice family holiday and it was totally ruined.

"I have no recollection of the actual incident - I think I must have blacked it out. Bradley said it just ran up and stopped dead in its tracks and jumped on me – half on my back and half of my shoulder.

"He said it grabbed my arm – I've got claw marks – and it bit into me and just shook. It was so aggressive. It savagely bit my arm, tearing it open. It jumped off and was just sat on the wall looking at me. Blood was pouring and spurting everywhere – it was like a tap."

The 53-year-old claimed there were no warning signs and demanded action before someone was killed. A government of Gibraltar spokesman refuted this saying, "We do give notice all over."

He also stated that attacks by the monkeys were very rare.

Albert Poggio, the UK-based representative for the colony, said the attack was the most "severe" he had ever seen.

He said: "It is very very sad but what can one say? These monkeys are wild. We do give as much notice all over the place. It is very unfortunate.

"We are trying to keep the numbers down and we have just exported 30 to Scotland. The reality is we've got too many and there are too many packs."

A similar incident happened in 2013 when a four-year-old girl and her grandmother were admitted to hospital after a terrifying attack by a Barbary macaque on Gibraltar.

The accident occurred at the Upper Rock nature reserve and left the British tourists with severe scratches and bruising.

They were pounced on when they came face to face with a Barbary macaque while visiting the Upper Rock nature reserve.

The monkey bit the four-year-old, above the ankle and then went for the grandmother, who suffered serious bruising and scratches to her arm.

The Gibraltar population of the Barbary macaque now numbers more than 300 and the British colony is looking into ways to keep monkey numbers down. Ernest Britto, Gibraltar's tourist minister, defended the plans for the cull, saying: "Children are frightened. People cannot leave their windows open for fear of the monkeys stealing. Apes can bite, and contact with them runs the risk of salmonella or hepatitis."