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Monkey World News

Cheeky Charlie is aped by sculptor...

Daily Echo

HE was one of Monkey World’s very first inhabitants and now this cheeky chap has been immortalised in bronze. London sculptor Andy Garner brought along a 2ft high bust of Charlie, one of the primate rescue centre’s much-loved chimpanzees, yesterday. The bronzed-resin sculpture of loveable Charlie was presented by Andy to Dr Alison Cronin, director of Monkey World, and Jeremy Keeling, animal director at the popular attraction. Andy said: “I first visited Monkey World around six years ago and have a real passion for the work that goes on there. “I try to come down as regularly as I can to visit and wanted to give something back to the park to show my appreciation. “I bought a lovely postcard from the Monkey World gift shop depicting Charlie poking his tongue out. It was this image that inspired me to create the sculpture.” Charlie is one of the park’s original inhabitants, arriving in 1989 with a broken jaw, missing teeth, machete scars, cataracts and a broken foot. He still lives at Monkey World, leading a full and happy life with 14 other rescued chimpanzees. Alison said: “Andy’s sculpture of Charlie is amazing, but the best critics are the chimpanzees themselves and their reaction was immediate and quite impressive. “They saw Andy’s work of art as a rival chimpanzee and straight away started barking alarm threats to confront the intruder. “We’re really pleased that Andy donated Charlie’s sculpture to the park so that all of our guests can appreciate his work as we do.” Freelance sculptor Andy’s work includes sculpting for films including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, released in 2005 and starring Johnny Depp. He has been sculpting for 16 years and has a keen interest in primates. He is also a big fan of Monkey Life, the Channel Five documentary following the work that goes on at the park. Series three is due to be aired in February 2009.

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