Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Monkey business

Lulu in the Nursery

Over the last few years at home on Animal Planet we have been following the ups and downs of the inhabitants of Monkey World, at Dorset. We made sure that our UK trip took in a visit to this part of the country so that we could see the animals for ourselves. Monkey World was set up in 1987 by the Cronins to provide a permanent stable home for traumatised chips who were used in Spain as photo props. Other rescued primates have been added to the park over the years, and Monkey World is now also involved in an international breeding programme for endangered species. They do not breed the chimps, but sometimes the birth control fails and Mother Nature has her way and chimp babies make their appearance.

Baby Chimp

We were thrilled to see Sally, the motherly chimp who rules the nursery and guides the youngsters in chimpanzee ways. Lulu was there too, the one armed chimp who was rescued from Cyprus. We also saw some of the "ugly monkeys" stump tail macaques who had previously been used for asthma research. Over the years we had seen all of these animals on TV at home.
Golden Gibbon

In 2008 Monkey World took part in their largest rescue operation ever when 88 capuchins were rescued from a laboratory in Chile. These animals lived in solitary cages without any mental or physical stimulation. They are now playing happily together in an outdoor enclosure - what a wonderful change for the better for them.

The orangutan babies were at play, climbing effortlessly, hanging upside down with one hand, or foot, whatever they fancied, while a larger juvenile took possession of an orange pumpkin. We watched as he took a stick, bit off the leaves, these poked and prodded at the pumpkin skin till he had made a hole. He was getting a bit frustrated at the slow rate of progress so banged the pumpkin on his head. Did that work - not much. So back with the stick poking business - until the hole was big enough to get his fingers into. Quite a clever little fellow, we thought.

Orangutan with pumpkin (not Robin)

Robin wishes to thank all those readers who sent him birthday e-mail wishes, much appreciated while we are so far from home.

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