A group of monkeys at Knowsley Safari Park were offered a unique treat last week when they were encouraged to destroy a visiting car.

But fortunately, it was not a paying customer who had their vehicle set upon by more than 40 of the sanctuary’s baboons, as it was part of a special endurance test organised by Hyundai for its new i30 hatchback.

It was left parked in the baboons’ enclosure, where it was quickly surrounded by the primates as they explored the vehicle, pushing buttons, opening and closing storage spaces and jumping on its seats.

The test was intended to demonstrate the robustness of the new Hyundai, which the manufacturer claimed has been specifically designed using extra-strong materials to handle all the punishment everyday family use can inflict on it.

Knowsley’s baboons were selected for the test because of their reputation for being especially fond of taking visitors’ cars to pieces.

However, at the end of the ten-hour trial, the auto came out mostly unscathed, with just a few scrapes and smears on the paintwork.

General manager at Knowsley Safari Park David Ross said having a car to play with for an entire day was “manna from heaven” for the baboons.

“These baboons are incredibly inquisitive. If you put them on any car they will scour it for the weak points and find any faults,” he said, adding: “At one point there were 40 monkeys in the car, pushing it to its limits.”

Mr Ross stated he had seen thousands of cars pass through the enclosure and get mobbed by the curious creatures and none have lasted the distance to the extent that the Hyundai managed.

To reward the creatures for their help, Hyundai donated