Monkey World assists governments around the world to stop the smuggling of primates from the wild.

At the Centre refugees of this illegal trade as well as those that have suffered abuse or neglect are rehabilitated into natural living groups.

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Monkey World News

TV tribute for Monkey World founder

Telegraph

To animal lover Jim Cronin, they weren't just monkey business - they were his whole world. For more than 20 years, American-born Jim dedicated his life to saving chimps and monkeys of all species from existences of unspeakable horror. Their rescue and second chance at survival ended at Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre, the sanctuary Jim created in Dorset. Jim and Alison Cronin with chimp Bryan Jim and Alison Cronin with chimp Bryan He and wife Alison were unwavering in their work to stop the illegal smuggling of primates from the wild, to rescue chimps found abused in laboratories and all others being mistreated or neglected. Today, there are 170 happy inmates, both monkeys and apes, at Monkey World, a testimony to the devotion of Jim and his team in saving the creatures from all forms of cruelty. Chimps like Bryan, who was found on a beach in Cancun, Mexico, with his teeth pulled out in preparation for life as a photographer's 'prop'. Bryan had been shipped from his native West Africa and was being groomed to be friendly to tourists. No teeth meant he couldn't nip. Then there was Koko, a stump-tailed macaque found in a pet shop in Budapest, Hungary, where she had been living in the same solitary cage for 20 years. advertisement Not all the monkey misdemeanours originate abroad, however. One operation carried out by Monkey World involved the setting up of a 'sting' on the M4 when Jim and Alison went along with undercover police officers to unveil illegal traders in baby capuchin monkeys. Other monkeys were simply a victim of circumstance. Joly, a baby orang-utan, was removed from Moscow Zoo when her mother refused to care for her. With its 65 acres, Monkey World is the European 'creche' for baby orang-utans who need a home, so it was only natural that that is where Joly should end up - but only after battles with bureaucracy to allow her to fly to Britain in the cabin of the plane and not in a box in the hold. There were also those whose births were not without problems. When woolly monkey baby Julio was born at Monkey World, he weighed less than a can of baked beans and was then rejected by his mother. The team took on the challenge of hand rearing him. Julio thrived to become only the second woolly monkey in the world to survive being hand-reared by a human. Also hand-reared were baby chimps Rodders and Ash. Orang-utan Dinda was reared by an older female when her mother rejected her. And Hsaio-Quai was the first organg-utan to rear her own baby in the park after being rescued in Tawain. With the 13 boisterous 'Bachelor Boys' chimps, tearaway Seamus and over-bearing mum Sally, together with the rest of the inmates at Monkey World, it all adds up to one happy family, as we'll discover in a new TV series, Monkey Life, on channel Five, weekdays for three weeks from Monday, August 13. But the series is more than just an insight into the rescue and rehabilitation work overseen by Jim for so long. It is also a tribute to the man who established himself as an international expert before his untimely death in March, aged 55. Awarded an MBE last year's New Year Honours, he died before he could collect the medal. The monkeys may miss the man who gave them a safe and happy home, but the work goes on. Alison is carrying on with the support of Monkey World's loyal team. This summer they are travelling to Chile to rescue some capuchin monkeys - a mercy mission Jim set in motion before he died. "It was something Jim was very enthusiastic about," says Alison. And for the man who once said "if I had put as much energy into a commercial venture as I have into Monkey World, I would be a pretty rich man", the animal-loving legacy will live on. Monkey Life, Monday-Friday, 6.30pm from today (Monday, August 13) on Five.

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