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Monkey World News

He's a chimp off the old block

The Daily Echo

HE may not be the most attractive subject, but giant male orangutan Tuan is currently the centre of attention at Monkey World as he poses for his very own life-size model. The ape, one of hundreds of rescued primates housed at the sanctuary in Wool, is having his huge form replicated by model maker Marie Parsons to give visually impaired visitors a more detailed impression of what he looks like. Marie, 22, who has just finished a degree at Bournemouth Arts Institute, became involved in the project after creating a model of chimpanzee Freddy for part of her final year's work. After she cast the model in bronze and handed it over to Jim and Alison Cronin, who run the centre, she was delighted to be invited back for more work. Marie, from Wallisdown in Bournemouth, said: "They were so happy with the finished result they asked me to come and do some more. "They want to have this sculpture for the visually impaired so they can feel the size of him." The model maker is currently working from a series of photographs of Tuan, but makes regular visits to his enclosure to check the finer details of his appearance. She added: "He's just getting bigger and bigger. He started off quite small, but I've just had to keep piling the clay on. "I've been here three weeks now and I've just finished the sculpting part and now I've got to go and mould it, so that takes about another two weeks. I think it will take me six weeks in total." Marie has already been commissioned for her next project, which she envisages will take a fraction of the clay she used for Tuan's sculpture - a model of a tiny Marmoset. First published: Augut 31

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