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Monkey World News

Chipperfield pelted with bananas after ?7,500 cruelty fine

The Express


DISGRACED circus trainer Mary Chipperfield was pelted with bananas yesterday as she left court after being fined 7,500 for cruelty to a baby chimpanzee. Chipperfield, 61, needed a police escort as a mob of 200 animal rights protesters surrounded her. They hurled abuse and chanted "scum" as she sought refuge in a police van. The demonstrators banged on the sides of the vehicle while up to 30 officers tried to protect her. The crowd were angry that Chipperfield had not been banned from keepi ing animals after being secretly filmed whipping the chimp called Trudy. After the hearing at Aidershot, Hampshire she said she would continue to keep animals m a "humane way" and said she regretted her "loss of patience" with Trudy. The case also decided Trudy's fate. She will remain at her new home, the Monkey World sanctuary neat Wareham, Dorset. Chipperfield had been found guilty at an earlier hearing of 12 charges of cruelty to 18-month-old Trudy She repeatedly beat the chimp with a riding crop, hitting and kicking her in her cage. The attacks were filmed by an animal rights group which infiltrated Chipperfield's winter training headquarters in Upper Wallop, Hampshire. They handed their video to police, which led to both the trainer and her husband Roger Cawley, 64, appearing in court. Cawley was convicted of cruelty to a sick elephant named Flora, whom he whipped to make her walk round a parade ring. He was fined 1,000 yesterday and the couple were ordered to pay costs of 12,240. Passing sentence, stipendiary magistrate Roger House said: "I am taking into account the character of these two, who have no previous convictions and have reached a substantial age. They will probably suffer financially from now on" The court heard that since their convictions Chipperfield and her husband had received up to 200 threatening letters. David Whittaker, defending said:"Their professional reputation has been left in tatters, their business interests dangling by threads." The couple's company, Mary Chipperfield Promotions, had decided to give Trudy to Monket World because they did not want her to have to undergo any more upheaval. After the hour long hearing, during which the chanting of protestors could constantly be heard, Chipperfield issued a statement through her solicitor Jeff Hide. It read: " I certainly regret the loss of patience which lead me to be firmer than I should have been when disciplining Trudy. I am sorry I did that. I am very relieved to have been cleared of all the other charges brought against me and I hope to put an end to this unfortunate and regrettable episode in my life. "I am not the ogre depicted by the media or by those who would use this case for political purposes. I will continue to care for all my animals in a humane manner in the future." Jan Creamer, of the Animal Defenders group which filmed the cruelty dismissed the fine as paltry. "We wanted them banned from keeping animals and we will take legal advice on what further steps can be taken against them," she said. Protester Anne Norton, who travelled 60 miles from Eastbourne, Sussex, said: "She should have been sent to prison."

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