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Monkey World News

Attenborough pleads for Chipperfield chimpanzees

The Times


SIR David Attenborough was among campaigners who called yesterday for the release of four chimpanzees still under the care of Mary Chipperfield, the animal trainer convicted of cruelty month. Chipperfield was found guilty on January 27 of 12 counts of cruelty to an 18 month old chimpanzee. Trudy. who was kicked and whipped and spent 15 hours a day in a darkened box. The animal is reported to be thriving at Monkey World an animal sanctuary in which it was placed ten months ago. Jim Cronin. the owner of Monkey World, said yesterday: "Mary Chipperfield still has four other chimps m her possession and we are very worried about their safety.' He said they included Trudy's brother, Teddy, five, a 27-year old female believed to be her mother, and two others, one of which could be her father. He added: "We want them here. She is clearly not a woman who can be trusted to look after these wonderful, sensitive and highly social animals. During her seven-day trial, Chipperfield, 61, said on oath that she regretted nothing and would do the same again. Immediately after her conviction, she indicated that she intended to return Trudy to her training quarters in Hampshire. Her counsel said that she could not be stopped, as the animal was owned by Mary Chipperfield Promotions Ltd. which had not been convicted Sir David and Jane Goodall, a world-renowned expert on chimpanzees have been assessing Trudy's progress at Monkey World, near Wareham, Dorset. Sir David said a secretly filmed video of Chipperfield's abuse of Trudy which led to her conviction. was an atrocity "It is one of the most agonising things I have seen for a very long time." Comparing the animal in the film to the excitable, boisterous. chimpanzee he saw at Monkey World yesterday, he said: "The idea that the law should be so inhuman as to remove that little infant from the company of her new family and return her to unspeakable conditions is intolerable." Dr Goodall who cares for over 100 orphaned chimpanzees in Africa said Chipperfield should never be allowed to keep animals or work with them again. "Chimpanzees in the wild stay with their mother until they are at least five. Even then they still stay near her and help out with the other young ones." To take Trudy away now would be to re orphan an orphan. "It cannot he allowed to happen.'

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