The first time I visited Monkey World, I was just eight years old. Gordon the Orangutan was in a nappy, having to be hand reared after being born prematurely and spending the first few weeks of his life in an incubator. Gordon is the main thing I remember from my first trip.
Gordon - Orangutan
Nearly there! 🙂
I’ve been many times since, too many to know exactly how many. Gordon’s always been my personal favourite, feeling like I’ve ‘grown up with him’ seeing him first as a baby, then reintroduced to his mother, Amy, and the other Orangutans and now he’s all big and grown up and cuuute!
ANYWAY, I love the constant work everyone at Monkey World puts into rescuing the animals, it’s really quite touching to know how much effort is put into keeping these poor primates safe and happy. If anyone has visited before, or seen the shows Monkey Business or Monkey Life, you will know what I mean.
At all enclosures there are brief explanations (like the one above of Gordon) of who’s who, names, ages, and background information of where that monkey was rescued from. Whether they were props for photographers or on television, kept in tiny cages and tested on in laboratories or kept as pets being abandoned or mistreated it’s clear that Monkey World has done, and continues to do, everything they can to provide a better life for the animals. I always remember reading about one chimp who had hundreds of cigarette burns over her body after her owner used her as an ashtray…
So as a poor student, I am more than happy to pay £9 to visit such an amazing place, nowing that my money is going to a good cause. Seen as the days are getting sunnier (but definitely not warmer!) we decided to take a nice Sunday trip 45 minutes up the road to visit some very human-like animals, and do a bit of monkeying around ourselves!
Siamang Gibbons: Sam & Onion
This little guy was cute, we stood and watched him for a little while. He was hitting what at first looked like a rock against the wire, repeatedly throwing it through by mistake and reaching through to get it again. It turns out it was a snail he was hitting, probably to get it out of its shell – perhaps to eat it? Yummy!
A couple of years ago, Monkey World rescued around 90 Capuchin Monkeys from a laboratory in Chile, it took them a while to get used to the open spaces in the park after being kept confined in such tiny cages for such a long time.
Monkey World has the largest number of Chimpanzees outside of Africa
Monkey World also boasts a giant human play park. Tube slides, massive climbing ropes, 2+ person-sized swings, a long 20ish person snake swing, rope roundabouts & so much more! I’m pretty sure it was about a 80:20 ratio of adults:children running around it!
Hayley & Darren: Monkeys!
The main person to thank for all the effort and hard work put into the centre & saving these animals is a great guy called Jim Cronin. Himself, his wife Alison have travelled a lot in order to keep rescuing monkeys, as well as being very hand-on around the park. I’ve seen them wondering around Monkey World, chatting to visitors and working around the enclosures (my dad had a lovely chat with Jim once – very nice guy).
Unfortunately Jim passed away a few years ago after suffering from liver cancer. His wife and friends still working very hard at the Ape Rescue Centre.
I think this memorial at the park is a lovely way to remember such a great guy.
Jim Cronin with Charlie: In memoriam