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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

MONKEY WORLD TO THE RESCUE

Daily Echo

EIGHTY-eight monkeys have been liberated from the unimaginable horrors of a medical lab and flown to Dorset in the largest rescue of its kind in the world. The saved capuchin monkeys are today settling into their individual VIP bedrooms at the ape rescue sanctuary Monkey World, near Wool. Freed from their solitary cages in a lab in Santiago, Chile, in which some have been confined for more than 20 years, only taken out for invasive medical experiments, it is hoped they can be rehabilitated and settled into social groups. "This is a huge undertaking for Monkey World," said Dr Alison Cronin, centre director. "They have been confined in small laboratory cages and they are coming to us with lots of psychological and potentially medical problems." However the human-like creatures are highly intelligent and the world leading ape rescue sanctuary has vast experience, having rescued and rehabilitated more than 50 monkeys and apes from five different labs in four different countries. A jubilant Dr Cronin said: "This is the largest rescue Monkey World has ever undertaken in its history and the largest rescue of primates in the world ever." advertisement She and her late husband Jim, who died from cancer in March last year, had been planning the rescue for over a year after the lab asked for their help, and had intended to take them in smaller groups. But the situation became urgent when staff at the research laboratory in Santiago received death threats from animal rights protestors and Monkey World was told to take what they could. CRUEL CONDITIONS: Dr Alison Cronin shows the cages the capuchin monkeys were kept in CRUEL CONDITIONS: Dr Alison Cronin shows the cages the capuchin monkeys were kept in "There were any number of experiments including birth control," she said. "A lot of them have been in this lab for more than 20 years and never seen the light of day." Now it has closed down and Monkey World is able to offer the capuchins, which range in age from two to 30, a more natural life at Capuchin Lodge. "The first day we walked into the laboratory we were met with shrieks and screams. Within an hour or so they settled down. They realised we posed no threat to them," she said. The enormous two-day operation to transport the 88 capuchins in individual cages was carried out with military precision, with help from the Chilean Air Force. Dr Cronin and Jeremy Keeling flew out to oversee the evacuation, which included a stop at Las Palmas. Each monkey was carried in an individual cage with windows and with special permission from the government the Hercules transporter was allowed to land at Bournemouth Airport yesterday afternoon. The aim is to slowly introduce them into sociable groups of around 35 in which they would live in the wild in Central and South America, where their life expectancy is over 30 years. Dr Cronin said: "I thought rather than just try and pick on certain individuals I would bring everybody over at once and give them all their opportunity. "I think I did the right thing and I think Jim would have been pleased. He would have always liked the big and better." 7:51am Wednesday 30th January 2008

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