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Monkey World News

Monkey World Jim's statue to be unveiled

Daily Echo

A BRONZE bust of Monkey World founder Jim Cronin is to be unveiled at the Purbeck sanctuary this weekend. The specially commissioned sculpture depicts Jim with one of the park's most famous chimpanzees, Charlie. It will be displayed in the memorial area at Monkey World, which was set up following Jim's death in March last year. The life-size bust was created by Yorkshire artist Steve Winterburn. Dr Alison Cronin, Jim's widow, said: "It is an amazing bust and a great resemblance. "Artists generally specialise in either humans or animals, but Steve is capable of doing both." Once unveiled in the special memorial area, the bust will be set up on Purbeck stone and look out over the Purbeck hills. This weekend's private ceremony will be attended by representatives from the Cat Tien national park, Vietnam, and the Pingtung rescue centre, Taiwan. Together with Monkey World, the visitors will sign a memorandum of understanding for phase two of the Dao Tien endangered species rescue centre. Dao Tien is a 68-hectare island in the Cat Tien national park being used as a semi-wild enclosure for rescued gibbons. The three agencies are collaborating on the new rescue centre. The Jim Cronin Fund is currently waiting to be recognised by the Charity Commission. Once approved, the fund will go towards building a state-of-the-art education centre at the Wool sanctuary. The charity then hopes to fund courses for people to study primate conservation. Jim opened Monkey World in 1987 and won countless awards for his conservation work, including an MBE in 2006.

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