Hello and hi. Truth be told I am not a big fan of zoos or similar venues which enclose wild animals against their will. I mean, the Smitsonian National Zoo in my hometown (cue Adele) is great and F-R-E-E (BTW the Zoo in London or ZSL is expensive. Bring money and lots of it) but I really feel sorry for the animals who are unlucky enough to find themselves there. Am sure they are well taken care of, have plenty of friends and lots to eat but something tells me if they had a choice (and maybe they do) well, they would prefer to be in their natural habitat. Oh sure, zoos are important but are they necessary? Allow me step off my soap box. All that being said, I was recently at Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre-commonly referred to as ‘Monkey World’ for obvious reasons and was impressed. Yes, yes I was. So this is what went down. Ok, lets do this.
Set up in 1987 by Jim Cronin-with assistance from Jeremy Keeling, Monkey World was later operated by both Jim and wife, Alison with a team of care staff led by Jeremy. Monkey World was originally intended to provide a home for abused chimpanzees used as props by Spanish beach photograhers-but is now home to many different species of primates.
Monkey World works with foreighn governments to STOP teh illegal smuggling of wild primates. In 2008, The Guardian lauded praise on them-gave them mad props for “the world’s biggest rescue mission of its kind” when it saved 88 capuchin monkeys from a laboratory in Santiago, Chile-where someof the animals had been kept in solitary cages for up to 20 years. The operation was carried out at the request of the laboratory, and with help from the Chilean Air Force, who flew the animals to Bournmouth airport with special permission form the British Government. Wow. Just.So. Great.
Pictured below is a capuchin monkey…he seems surprised. Or happy. Or just really amazed that Donald Trump is doing so well in the US presidential race, despite being such a git (an unpleasant or contemptable person).
In August 2010, Monkey World rescued a Bornean orangutan called Oshine, from South Africa. Then they rescued and orphan baby Sumatran orangutan called Silvestre from a zoo in Spain. Then there was the time they rescued a chimpanzee named Kiki from Lebanon. I think you get the point. They do good at Monkey World. Yeah. Kiki is pictured below, post resuce.
So a massive shout out to Monkey World . As it says on their website: Monkey World assists governments around the world to stop the smuggling of primates from the wild.At the Centre refugees of this illegal trade as well as those that have suffered abuse or neglect are rehabilitated into natural living groups. Like I said, they do good and noble work there.
I was recently at Monkey World and found it enjoyable and educational in equal measure. The primates seemed happy and healty and actually interacted with us humans from the other side of the glass that separated us. They probably thought we were the one in cages-with all our human foolishness that we often partake in. That being said, it was a pretty cool way to spend a hot summer afternoon. The entrance fee was reasonable, there were various scheduled talks about the various primates there PLUS there was a gift shop. I might have purchased a few things there. Ok, I did. Plus, there was a cafe and very clean public toilets. Of course there were a few school children there-but they seemed to be strictly controlled and well behaved. In short, it was a fun learning experience. So, if you come to London Town (and I hope you do) you will find that it is only a 3 hour drive from central London. Enjoy.
Maybe while you are there, you will see Gordon, pictured below:
At Monkey World, there are 5 different species of Gibbon monkeys
Ok, enough monkeying around. Just get yourself to Monkey World in Dorset, UK. Have a whale of a time!