Monkey World assists governments around the world to stop the smuggling of primates from the wild.

At the Centre refugees of this illegal trade as well as those that have suffered abuse or neglect are rehabilitated into natural living groups.

Rescue & Rehabilitation
Monkey World | Ape Rescue Centre

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Spring 2005

Say Hi to Kai by Jeremy Keeling

On the 15th March Hsiao-quai gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Generally these births happen during the night but this first time the mother went into labour at 2.00 in the afternoon. The first contractions were noticed shortly after 2.00, her waters burst at 2.41, the head appeared at 3.04, and by 3.06 the baby was delivered. From the time of the first contraction the birth went very quickly, which is unusual for a first time mother.

Throughout the labour Hsiao-quai remained very tolerant of my presence and seemed to appreciate the encouragement I was giving her. I was allowed to film the entire birth and when the baby’s head first appeared Hsiao-quai let me remove mucus that was in the infant’s mouth. From the moment the baby was born, Hsiao-quai was attentive, cleaning the baby head to toe, carefully removing the cord, and gently handling the infant while supporting its head.

Somehow Tuan, the father of the new arrival, knew exactly what was going on even though he lives in a different house. From the time that Hsiao-quai went into labour, Tuan was there at the window watching the proceedings. While the delivery was quick and mum had done an excellent job cleaning her new baby, the biggest concern was when was the baby going to suckle? Obviously this was a very stressful time and the following hours would have an irrevocable impact upon the future of this precious baby orangutan. We went through the rest of the day, through the night, and the next morning – still no suckling. Up until now, there have been two baby orangutans born at Monkey World; Gordon and Hsiao-ning and both of them had to be looked after by our Primate Care Staff. We definitely did not want to have to care for an orphaned baby orangutan again.

In the morning, I finally decided that Hsiao-quai needed some firm direction on what to do with the baby that was now crying, as he was hungry and starting to get dehydrated. Hsiao-quai was reluctant but she allowed me to push the baby’s head to her breast and the reaction was instant; the baby latched on to the teat, the crying stopped, and Hsiao-quai seemed quite amused by what was happening. Since that morning the baby knows where to head for dinnertime and Hsiao-quai is more than happy to feed him.

Our newest little boy is strong. He has a good hold of his mother’s hair with both hands and feet, he definitely does not like it when his mother tucks him up underneath a blanket, and he has a lot to say about it when she does. On March 17th she was doing so well with the baby that we decided to let A-mei in to meet the new arrival. A-mei has always been wary of Hsiao-quai so a quick glance was enough. The following day Aris and Hsiao-ning were let in to meet the latest addition and start a new orangutan nursery group. Both youngsters had a look, but Aris was particularly interested. Hsiao-quai is a wonderful mother and is happy for everyone to see her son – including visitors to whom she shows him off to through the window.

Soon we will put Hsiao-quai back with the other adult females so that they too can watch her excellent mothering skills and hopefully learn for themselves. This baby has been such an incredible success that we have decided to name him Kai, which means 'triumphant' or 'victorious' in Chinese.

Aris Moves In by Lee Butler

On February 1st I left the park at 3.00am as I headed for the ferry at Dover in the Monkey World van on my way to Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart Germany. The journey would take me straight through France to Germany on a mission to collect a one-year-old, male Sumatran orangutan called Aris. The youngster’s story was an interesting one having been born Basel Zoo, Switzerland. Aris' mother rejected her newborn but luckily his grandmother, who was also in the group, decided to adopt the infant. There was a problem, however, as his grandmother was stilI caring for what was Aris’ aunt or uncle. The two babies were too much for the grandmother to take care of and when the babies got agitated she reprimanded Aris. Unfortunately the adult female tore his eyelid creating a wound that required stitching. Not long after that Aris was transferred to Wilhelma Zoo to join their ape nursery where they were caring for four baby gorillas. While it was a safe life for the injured baby orangutan, it was not an ideal solution as gorillas and orangutans develop and behave very differently.

My first day at the zoo I headed over to the ape nursery. It was amazing to see Aris with the gorillas. He was independent, charging around and nipping just like the gorillas - this was a very active, lively, boisterous orangutan. The following day it was an early start on the journey back home.

Elka, Head Keeper of the Wihelma nursery, was making the trip back with Aris and me so that the transition to his new home would be as gentle as possible. We arrived at Monkey World at about 9.30 pm where Jim, Jeremy and the other Primate Care Staff were eagerly awaiting our arrival. Aris did not let side down as he immediately was out of his travelling box and ready to check out his new home.

And it really was a new home! As our baby orangutan, Hsiao-ning, was now 18 months old and was ready to be to other orangutans, Monkey World designed a new, portable nursery building complete with a playroom and two bedrooms. It is attached to the large orangutan enclosure through a glass window, allowing the babies to see aIl of the adults. There was another reason for the new building, female Hsiao-quai was about to give birth and what better place than a nursery building of her own. Indeed the evening of Aris’ arrival Hsiao-ning, Hsiao-quai, and A-mei were there to observe the new arrival.

Aris has been a wonderful addition to our newest group at the park - the orangutan nursery. Not only is he enjoying the company of orangutans but we have also seen a tremendous change in Hsiao-ning’s behaviour. She has gone from a shy and retiring baby to a more forward and playful youngster with the companionship of her new friend. Aris has an amazing personality that is infectious.

Moving Houses

Over the past few months several monkeys and apes have moved house and we have had a few new arrivals.

In November Jake, a male golden-cheeked gibbon arrived from Hogel Zoo, USA and has now been paired with Alex. The pair immediately hit it off and have been together ever since.

In December Marmite, a male Geoffroy's marmoset came from Longleat Safari Park after he had been kicked out of his family group. Marmite has been introduced to Oberon, our male goeldi monkey, and soon the two will take up residence with our female common marmosets.

Finally a new male woolly monkey has just arrived from Twycross Zoo. Bueno was born at the zoo and has lived in a bachelor group for the past couple of years. He was having disputes with the other males at the zoo and we needed a new male for our pair of females in our second group of woollys.

At the park several individuals have moved house. Paco was booted out of Paddy's group following a dispute with Jimmy, the alpha male's second in charge. While Paco would have been able to withstand an argument with Jimmy, all the dominant females took Jimmy's side and let Paco know that he was no longer welcome. Paco was not injured, only upset and frightened but it was clear that it was time to move from Paddy's group. Paco has moved next door to the bachelors and has been pleasantly surprised by meeting up with his long lost friend, Charlie. The introductions are going well and soon Paco will also meet Butch, the dominant male in the bachelors, who he also already knows.

Ben & Pip, who have been living along side of Sally's nursery group for the past few months, have now joined the group. The final stage of their introduction into the group was to meet Carli, the adult male, and this meeting went very well. The chimpanzee nursery now has 8 individuals and is a very busy and interesting group.

Adidas & Dalumie, the Mueller's gibbons, and Zoey & Rafael, the golden-cheeked gibbons have been moved to a new purpose built house across the field from the stump-tailed macaques. Slowly but surely most of the gibbon pairs in the gibbon rehabilitation centre will be moved to houses that have enclosures in the trees so that they can live as natural lives as possible.

Mendez and Chica, two of our woolly monkeys have moved to a new wildlife park in Holland where they will start a new group. This move was made as Mendez was aggressive to our two other females, Yarima and Kuna, while being totally besotted with Chica. In his place a new male, Bueno, was sent from Twycross Zoo to lead the new trio.

Time for the Dentist

On April 22nd two of our apes had a well-needed visit from Monkey World’s dentist, Peter Kertesz of Zoodent. We are always checking our monkeys and apes teeth in order to make sure that they do not have broken or rotting teeth. In the past, we have seen individuals who have been very aggressive and angry and totally change their outlook on life following a visit from Peter. One can only imagine the pain that comes from an infected tooth that can have a root that is more than 4cm long!

Peter's day started at the orangutan nursery where A-mei lives, Jim and Alison have known A-mei for many years and from the time she was a youngster, having only recently arrived at the Pingtung Rescue Centre in Taiwan, she had terrible teeth, Over the years several of the more easy extractions were done whenever possible but A-mei's molars required a specialist as they were totally rotten and also in a difficult area to reach. Indeed we have never seen such a bad case of dental disease in a monkey or ape before.

It would seem that A-mei's previous, private owner fed her on a poor diet that contained too much sugar. We could see from her canine teeth that she was previously malnourished as she has significant physical rings around the large teeth showing that at that point in time she was not receiving appropriate nutrition in order to sustain normal dental growth. Further, A-mei had incredibly rotten molars and 10 cavities in need of filling. It took 3.5 hours for A-mei's visit to the dentist but she should now feel much more comfortable. She had two lower molars removed from each side of her mouth and one upper left molar. She also had five resin fillings and will require five more in future when she is able to tolerate another anaesthetic.

Paddy's visit to the dentist was more straightforward. In the past few weeks the Primate Care Staff had noticed that Paddy was missing his upper right canine tooth. The gum line appeared quite clear and there were no signs of infection but if the broken root end on the tooth remained in his jaw it could collect food particles that would rot creating bacteria and then a massive infection in the huge root of the canine tooth. There was no doubt it had to be removed, While it was not a complicated job, it was going to be a difficult one as the canine teeth in an adult male chimpanzee are huge, Indeed the large tooth that is visible is only 1/3 of the entire structure - 2/3 of the tooth is root that is lodged in the maxilla or mandible of the skull, Paddy's operation took 1,5 hours until the entire root was removed in one piece, Both Paddy and A-mei recovered well from their operations - as if nothing had ever happened!

Alberto Meets the Hooligans by Emma Lintern

Alberto arrived at the park in 2003 and we knew that his rehabilitation would take a long time as he was a large, adult male of approximately 16 years that was very set in his ways. The plan was to introduce him to our 10 strong group of bachelor chimps. Initial introductions went slowly in order to allow Alberto to adapt to chimpanzee society after living on his own all of his life. He has now met each member of the group and has been living full time with three others, Freddy, Jestah, and Charlie. Just like people, Alberto has found it easier to get along with some members of the group than others.

Alberto is very forward when meeting new chimps but with a limited behavioural repertoire he usually reacts with aggression and tries to overpower his new acquaintance. After a short time however, he has realised that other chimps are a lot of fun and he especially enjoys the company of Freddy and Jestah who are often seen fooling around and playing in their enclosure. Alberto has also built a special relationship with Charlie who accepts Alberto for who he is, a dominant male chimp. We have been keeping Alberto with the chimps he enjoys the company of the most in the hope that he continues to learn the social skills necessary to get on with every member of the bachelor group.

Just recently Paco has also joined the bachelor 'hooligans'. The two newest boys have already met and are now working out their new relationship. For Paco these introductions have been a bit easier as he already knew several members of the group from years ago. It is important to remember that some individuals take longer to integrate into an existing group as they have all come from different backgrounds. Alberto has come a long way in his rehabilitation at Monkey World and all the Primate Care Staff look forward to the approaching day when he and Paco are fully integrated into the bachelor group.

A Prehensile Tale by Mike Fry

Usually I am a full time member of the ape section but from time to time I am drafted in to cover the monkey section in the park. A far cry from the hectic and politically chaotic world of chimpanzees, this is a time to embrace the more subtle, but no less interesting realm of smaller primates! From the delicate and docile woolly monkeys and geriatric ward of stump-tailed macaques, to the morning chorus at the gibbon house, the day ahead always promises to be interesting.

At the woolly monkey house the day begins with a good morning check of every individual to ensure all have had a good night. A few contact calls to the woolly monkeys let them know that a friend is approaching and a few polite ‘snuffles’ re-affirms that I am a friend. Before letting everyone outside for a stretch, breakfast, and supplements such as Vitamin C, it’s time for a brief behavioural session to recap and learn new behaviours that allow the Primate Care Staff to check each monkey head to toe – even little Lena! The morning brings a good cleaning session ready for our visitor's arrival, then a few toys in the enclosure, some new ropes secured into place, and some insects let loose before an early lunch.

The afternoon is a time when activities can be developed to encourage problem solving, exercise, and foraging. Making log piles in the enclosure, putting sunflower seeds inside of plastic milk bottles, or re-positioning hanging platforms encourages the woollys to exercise their minds and bodies. All the Primate Care Staff strive to make the monkeys and apes lives as happy, interesting and as natural as possible on a daily basis. By early evening its time for the evening feed of fresh fruit, vegetables and specially made oatcake before securing a position in the house for the night ahead. Until the next morning, when of course...

Letter From The Editor

Over the past couple of months our supporters have been a great help with our rescue and rehabilitation work by donating goods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, mealworms, bread, rice cakes, Bonio biscuits, jam, baby milk, drinker cups, baby oil, vitamins, dog toys, blankets, sheets, towels, large socks, D-feeder cups, disposable gloves, un-used stamps, foreign currency, stationery, bamboo ladders, large baskets, straw, sawdust, and supermarket vouchers. Knitted jumpers, key rings, and magnets were donated to sell in the shop and several individuals sent packages full of mince pies, chocolate, shortbread, and wine for the Primate Care Staff over Christmas. Everything is greatly appreciated by the staff, the monkeys, and the apes. We have received several generous donations and some have raised money by sponsored school events, Christmas stalls, car boot sales, cake stalls, donations instead of presents or in lieu of payments, neighbourhood collections, change/tip jars, charity music concerts, office savings clubs, raffles, or poster and bracelet sales.

Special thanks need to be given to Eddi Moors Plant Hire for concrete culvert pipes, Condor Marine Services for mooring lines, Haverhill Fire Station for used fire hoses, SMA Nutrition for donating loads of prepared red-cap milk, Ryvita for sending the monkeys and apes loads of crackers, and to the Dorchester Round Table, the JM Huxtable Trust, the Fellowship of Animal Lovers, the Ladies of the Chadwell Evangelical Church, Quaker Concern for Animals, and Boot Scooters Line Dancing Club for generous donations. Graeme Yardley donated sponsorship from running the Great South Run and Chris Conway sent in proceeds from selling the Monkey Love CD. In particular we would like to thank all our adoptive parents and visitors that have sent us copies of photos that they have take at the park.

On a sad note, many people who regularly visited the park or were adoptive parents have passed away. Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Wendy Bryant, Donald Clarkson, John Kelly, Jeanne Kendall, John Venner, lan Harthill, Edmund Lees, Don Staddon, John Kalinins, Alfred Tickner, Linda Dillion, JiII Glass, Edith Smith, and Mrs. Wright. They will all be greatly missed.

We are so pleased to see the successful result of our orangutan nursery and your support helped to make it happen. Sadly, however, we are being called upon to rescue and rehabilitate more and more monkeys and apes every year. Please continue to let us know if you see or hear of any primates that need our help. Monkey Business continues to be one of Animal Planet's most successful programmes. The production team have just finished editing Series 8 (which should go out on Meridian TV for 14 weeks starting June 19th, and internationally thereafter) and we are now filming Series 9. So stay tuned, as the Monkey Business doesn't stop!