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Monkey World News

Gemma's monkey adoption call

this is Nottingham

Gemma Atkinson and her footballer boyfriend have urged animal lovers to follow in their footsteps and adopt a monkey or an ape. Gemma, 23, and 30-year-old Marcus Bent went to visit the newest member of their family, chimpanzee Bryan, at Monkey World near Wool, Dorset. Bryan was adopted by the couple after being rescued from Cancun, Mexico last year. The five-year-old was being trained as a beach photographer's prop. His teeth had been knocked out to stop him biting tourists and he was regularly beaten. The former Hollyoaks actress and her boyfriend, who plays for Wigan Athletic, also threw their weight behind Monkey World's rescue bid for Coco, an adult female chimpanzee who was stolen from the wild in Africa, smuggled into Mexico and is being used by the same beach photographer that owned Bryan. Gemma said: "We have adopted Bryan, who was being kept by a beach photographer. We are delighted to help out. This is a brilliant cause that Jim (Monkey World co-founder Jim Cronin) started and we only hope that other people jump on board and adopt. "It's as little as £30 to adopt a primate at Monkey World for a year and to help possibly change an ape or monkey's life. "The next challenge is to get Coco back from Mexico, which we are actively supporting." Gemma, who took part in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, contacted staff at Monkey World last month after watching their plight on television.

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