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Monkey World News

Chimps New Life

Daily Echo
5th July 2005

A CHIMPANZEE that was living in a cage on a holiday island off Africa has been rescued by Dorset's Monkey World sanctuary.

Holidaymakers shocked by the sight of chimp Patricia caged on a patio near their apartments in the Canary Islands raised the alarm.

But it has taken two years to win freedom for Patricia who has now arrived at Monkey World, near Wool, after the efforts of conservationists Dr Alison Cronin and husband Jim.

Patricia has virtually no experience of living with other chimpanzees and is slowly being introduced to other chimps.

She will eventually be integrated with a group and learn to live as a chimpanzee.

During the next few weeks visitors to Monkey World will see Patricia in her new home.

If all goes well Patricia will have a much happier life than that she experienced during her first seven years.

Dr Cronin believes Patricia's mother was killed by hunters in Africa and, being a mere baby, was shipped to the Canaries, where a family bought her illegally.

Holidaymakers to the island of Fuerteventura got in touch with Monkey World after seeing Patricia locked in a cage on the patio of a private house near a holiday complex.

After many inquiries Dr Cronin hit lucky when a vet called Ursula contacted her with details about the caged primate and offered to act as an intermediary to secure Patricia's freedom.

Dr Cronin said: "The family had kept her as a pet and for a couple of years everything was lovely, but as she grew she got boisterous and they then kept her in a cage at the back of their house."

Since arriving at Monkey World, Patricia has refused to allow any other chimps to touch her.

Dr Cronin said: "She has only lived with human company. She is intrigued to see other chimpanzees and has met four members of Hananya's group so far."

Hananya is a dominant male who looks after a group of 17 chimps. Once Patricia becomes accustomed to the others it is expected she will fully join the group.

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