A rare pair of rhesus macaque monkey twins have been born at Longleat Safari Park.

Multiple births are extremely rare in primates, and these are believed to be the first twin monkeys born at the Warminster safari park since 2008.

Initially, keepers thought the mother may simply have ‘borrowed’ one of the babies from another female, but they’re now convinced that both are hers.

“There have been some instances where a baby has been picked up by another female – often an older sister – for a short time,” said lead keeper Leah Drury.

“However, we have observed her suckling both babies over a period of weeks so we’re as certain as we can be they are twins.

“We are always pleased with any birth, but twins are particularly special. We’re keeping a close eye on mum and the babies but it looks like she’s coping really well and the babies are also thriving,” she added.

Rhesus macaque monkeys have given their name to the rhesus antigens found in their blood in 1940, which has enabled doctors to determine different blood groups in humans.

Found throughout southeast Asia and across the Indian subcontinent rhesus monkeys thrive in a wide variety of habitats and climates.

They are extremely intelligent, naturally inquisitive animals which can learn to manipulate simple tools and distinguish colours and shapes.