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Monkey World News

From Russia with love

This is Dorset

FOR she's a Joly good fellow! On Friday, March 17 eight-month-old orang-utan Joly finally flew from Russia, with love, to Heathrow in the arms of her keeper inside the cabin of a passenger plane. The government took the unprecedented step of allowing the orphaned ape to travel with passengers amid fears she would die during the six-hour flight if she was put in the hold, where animals normally travel. Delighted staff at Monkey World at Wool breathed a sigh of relief when she finally arrived they worked tirelessly round the clock for two weeks to cut through the swathes of red tape that threatened to scupper the transfer. But with just one day remaining before Joly's health permit expired, the rescue centre won its desperate race against time when all parties finally gave the flight permission to take off. Jim Cronin, who runs the centre, near Wareham, with his wife Dr Alison Cronin, said: "We're absolutely thrilled. "There are nearly 20,000 orang-utans left in the wild and we have committed ourselves to leading the way in the preservation and breeding of an endangered species." Joly, who flew on the plane in a baby carrier, was brought over to the ape rescue centre from Moscow Zoo after she was born in captivity, but rejected by her mother. A new project has been set up through the European Breeding Programme so that all orphaned orang-utans are brought up together - at Monkey World. Monkey World was first contacted by Moscow Zoo last autumn and has since been sorting out all the paperwork to allow Joly to travel to the UK. MP for Dorset South Jim Knight, who played a vital role persuading the authorities to make sure the flight went through, said: "I'm absolutely delighted. "This was an unusual transfer, but I think everyone saw common sense in the end." Mr Cronin revealed that Joly was settling in well in her new home and her adopted mum A-mei is looking forward to meeting her. Joly is the second baby orang-utan to be brought to Monkey World under the new programme. The first ape was Aris, who arrived in February 2005.

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