Monkey World is, in my humble view, the best animal-related place I have visited in many years.
It was set up in 1987 by Jim Cronin, to house abused Chimpanzees from Spain.
Since then it has grown considerably – it houses many more Primates rescued from around the world, and the park works with Governments in many countries to try and stop the smuggling which goes on, and take apes out of abuse and experimentation.
It offers a safe home for those apes whose future was uncertain – they could have been mistreated, experimented on, kept as pets by irresponsible owners, used as money-makers for people allowing tourists to use them as props in photographs on beaches/streets etc, and probably many other things too unthinkable.
We did have a picture that we found online of a monkey at the start of our post ‘The Mad Plan’ which we had to remove, as quite rightly, Monkey World suggested that the origin of that picture cannot be guaranteed and the monkey could have been coerced into posing for it.
This is something that made us think twice about some of the pictures we see of animals online.
It’s a mistake that anyone could make, by just taking a picture off the internet to use and emphasise a point, but it really hit home to us that by doing it, you could potentially be perpetuating the treatment of those animals.
I am so glad that when MW reviewed our post (which they have to do because they have kindly given us permission to use their logo on our blog) they brought this to our attention.
It’s something that is so incongruous to 99% of us that we don’t think past the fact that it’s just a picture on the internet but for these guys it’s something that is dealt with on a daily basis.
This highlights to me the fantastic work that people and organisations like this do.
If you check out their website (the link is on the right) you can read more about the work they do, and about the park itself, along with viewing pictures of their varied and often amusing occupants.
I recall on my visit there was a very inquisitive little monkey that was absolutely fascinated by the contents of the bag on the other side of the glass from her.
It had lunch in it, and as I put my hand in, she was interacting with me – pointing inside, and tilting her head back and forth at me, chattering away quite vocally. She knew exactly what she wanted! lol…we created quite an audience from people marvelling at how she interacted through the glass, and it was amazing to be so close yet so far!
If I had the qualifications, I would love to work in a place like this, to appreciate just how wild and wonderful they are, even if they are now caged in enclosures for their own safety from us.
Just from small things, you know how intelligent they are, and it highlights how cruel humans are by inflicting any kind of abuse on animals, no matter what species.
They have emotions, they have communication, they have love, bullying, family, enemies – are they really so different from us, and why do we think that they deserve to be treated as anything less than us?
Animals remain instinctual, whereas humans rely more and more on artificial things. We ignore what should come naturally.
Humans were not meant to live as we do today, and yes, we could say that technology has given us major advantages in various things, but does that really improve how we now interact with one another?
We seem to have lost the ability to properly feel; to personally connect with each other; to communicate in a valid, genuine way and to act instinctually. We ignore our basic senses for the most part.
The apes at this sanctuary allow us to witness the family unit as it should work, and how it used to work, even with humans!
It also enables us to see the interaction with humans and animals, and the respect and trust that can be gained from showing care and love to them.
It may be a wild animal but it is capable of love and care back to you, and no matter how domesticated an animal may seem, it is still wild at heart and always will be – and that should be respected too.
Too many people think that an animal should be under their control and it should be obedient, but it is wild and was never meant to be domesticated anyway – that’s just our arrogance as a species that thinks animals are a lesser life form and should submit to our will over their own!
Ah, I could rant on about that for a while, lol, but that’s not what this post is about.
Monkey World does fantastic work around the world, and their extensive centre allows us a glimpse of these beautiful creatures up close and personal…they are not just a spectacle for us to gawp at, they are a means for us to learn, if we take it as such and don’t squander the time we have to do that.
The Jim Cronin Memorial Fund was set up to continue the work that he started when he founded Monkey World all those years ago, as he is sadly no longer around to do it personally.
Thankfully, Alison Cronin and the MW staff carry on with his legacy and strive to carry on rescuing, and raising awareness of the issues across the world.
Of course, these efforts all cost heaps of money, so this is where supporters and fundraising come in…
They have various appeals going on, not least for food supplies, and blankets/linen. Have a look at their website to see how you go about donating those.
Elf and I are gearing up right now in order to do our little bit for Monkey World and the Jim Cronin Memorial Fund – £10,000 to be exact.
They are 1 of the 2 charities we are going to be raising funds for on our world tandem-tricycle ride (see ‘The Mad Plan’).
In the grand scheme of things, we don’t think the amount we are aiming for is too high, as if every person that sees this was to give just £1 it would soon start to mount up, especially if you then share this post with your friends and family too. Or perhaps with your work colleagues?
It’s all for a good cause after all…
Even if you don’t help us out with our efforts here, just go and visit the centre for the day if you can – take the kids, the in-laws, the grandparents – no matter what age you are, if you love animals, you will adore this place and the resemblance looking back at you from the other side of the fence/glass is uncanny!
You may well feel that you didn’t leave your relatives at home after all