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Monkey World News

Monkey World team thrilled by response

Swanage & Wareham Guardian

AN appeal by two Dorset conservationists asking people to write to the Thai authorities demanding action to stop the smuggling of endangered species has been answered by hundreds of people.

Monkey World's Jim and Dr Alison Cronin are campaigning to stop the illegal trade and have also highlighted the plight of Naree, a chimp at Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Bangkok, who will die from infections unless given urgent treatment.

In the past few weeks more than 500 letters have been sent to the Thai Embassy from concerned Dorset people - and many more have signed petitions.

"There have been over 500 letters, and that is just the ones that we know about because people have copied us in to them. This is really building up steam," said Mr Cronin.

"We are asking schools and students to write letters telling the Thai authorities that they have an obligation to confiscate Naree and provide her with the best welfare."

Referring to Naree, Mr Cronin said: "We want the authorities to make a charitable gesture to save the life of one of the chimps that has been smuggled."

Following an investigation by the Cronins in the Far East, South Dorset MP Jim Knight raised the issue with the Prime Minister Tony Blair.

As a result Elliot Morley, the environment, food and rural affairs minister, has written to the Thai authorities to stress the case for more to be done.

Mr Cronin said: "Mr Morley is going to be in Thailand this year and will be within one hour of Naree.

"She is dying and they are still making her perform three times a day.

"We may not win this but we are going to do our damnedest."

The response to the campaign has thrilled the Cronins, but they want more people, especially schools and students, to get involved and write letters.

The Thai Embassy 29-30 Queens Gate London W1X 7DX

Dear Mr Ambassador

I have been made aware of a campaign by Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre to help rescue and conserve endangered wild animals, namely, chimpanzees and orangutans that have been smuggled from the wild into your country. This campaign is being supported by 2CRFM, the Bournemouth Echo and Mr Jim Knight, MP.

I am aware that Monkey World has provided you with information about illegal chimpanzees and orangutans at various zoos and amusement parks in and around Bangkok. I wanted to let you know that:-

  • I support Monkey World's efforts to rescue Naree, a female chimpanzee, who is suffering with terrible infections in her face and head. In her sickly condition Naree is still being forced to perform three circus shows per day at Sriracha Tiger Zoo. She should be sent to Monkey World for the life saving operations that she needs.

  • All the illegal orangutans that have been found at various zoos and amusement parks should be returned to Indonesia for rehabilitation as the CITES laws dictate.

  • If these matters are not dealt with, my family and I will NOT consider travelling to Thailand - a country that is contributing to the extinction of endangered species.

Yours sincerely

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