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From The Monkey World Website
Set amongst the woodland of Dorset lays 65 acres of sanctuary for over 150 primates.
Monkey World was set up in 1987 by Jim and Alison Cronin to provide abused Spanish beach chimps with a permanent, stable home.
Today Monkey World works in conjunction with foreign governments from all over
the world to stop the illegalsmuggling of apes out of Africa and Asia.
At the park visitors can see more than 150 primates of 15 different species.
There are currently 56 chimpanzees at Monkey World, which makes it the largest group
Monkey World has rescued chimps from Spain, Greece, France, England,Austria,
The Netherlands, Israel, Cyprus, Dubai and Taiwan where they were being used
and/or abused in laboratories, as exotic pets, as photographer’s props, or as circus
Their exact histories vary, but the majority of them share part of the same story.
Born in Africa chimps are taken from their family groups as youngsters.
Poaching expeditions for bush meat and the capture of young animals results in the
slaughter of adults as they try and defend their babies and extended family.
It is estimated that the removal of one infant will result in the death of up to
ten other chimpanzees.
The young animals are smuggled out of Africa and then sold illegally abroad.
In the case of Spanish beach chimps, they are dressed up in human clothes and worked
in tourist resorts, often for 16 hours per day as a photographer’s prop. When the
chimpanzees reach 4 or 5 years of age they become uncontrollable and are usually
killed in order to be replaced with a new baby chimp. Some photographers will try
and control their chimps by beating them and pulling their teeth out and/or putting
them on drugs. Monkey World in co-operation with Spanish authorities confiscates all
known beach chimpanzees. New arrivals are given a full medical check and such
examinations often reveal serious injuries such as machete wounds and broken bones.
Many of the chimps come to us addicted to drugs. Recovery and rehabilitation is a
lengthy process with many of the animals suffering from malnutrition and anaemia.
At Monkey World we rehabilitate the chimps into large social groups but we keep the
females on birth control. There are still many chimps that need rescuing and for this
reason we do not allow our animals to breed in order that we have the space and
funding to rescue others. At present there are 4 groups of chimps at the park,
the largest numbering 22. Each group is given at least 1 hectare of land.
Monkey World is also working in Asia with the Pingtung Rescue Centre for Endangered
Wild Animals to try to stop the smuggling of gibbons and orangutans from the wild.
We are also conducting undercover surveys of the illegal pet trade in South East Asia.
On site there is a hospital and operating theatre where most of the medical examination
and operations on the chimps and monkeys happen. While we have a local vet and a
specialist primate vet, the staff at Monkey World are recognised as experts in primate
rehabilitation and health. We also bring in specialists as needed such as paediatricians,
dentists, ear, nose and throat surgeons, ophthalmic specialists, and gynaecologists.
Our costs of providing quality and continuing care are high. We operate an adoption
scheme to assist in our fund raising, which includes free admission to the park for
one year. Our work can only continue with the assistance of our supporters and visitors.
Jim Cronin passed away on March 17, 2007 at Cabrini Medical Center in Manhattan.
Born and raised in Yonkers, NY, he has been a resident of Great Britain for more
than two decades where he and his wife Alison have operated the internationally
renowned ape rescue centre, Monkey World, which works with governments around the
world to halt the illegal smuggling of apes out of Africa and Asia. Jim was educated
at St. Denis School and Lincoln High School in Yonkers.
During the past 20 years, Jim established himself as an international expert in the
rescue and rehabilitation of abused primates, and the enforcement of international
treaties aimed at protecting primates from illegal trade and experimentation.
Jim founded Monkey World which he and Alison built from a small refuge to a 65 acre
wildlife park that is home to more than 160 rescued primates of 16 different species
and is rated as one of the most popular family destinations in England. Last year Jim
was awarded the honour of Member of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for
Services to Animal Welfare. The well-loved series, Monkey Business, has documented
their frequent rescue missions and undercover investigations throughout Europe and
Asia for the past 10 years, and a new series is in production.
Jim had a passion for life and the conservation of wildlife that was an inspiration
to all who knew him. His enthusiasm was infectious and he will be missed by all whose
lives he touched. Jim’s legacy will continue under the guidance of his devoted wife,
Dr Alison Cronin. Monkey World and the numerous projects Jim and Alison set up globally,
will continue as a fitting memorial to a man whose life touched so many around the world.
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