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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Winter 2003

It's A Girl by Mike Colbourne

It has been a long wait, eight and a half months to be exact, for RoRo to deliver her first baby but finally she has arrived! During a quiet morning on 31 August I was startled by our Lead Keeper, Lee Butler, knocking on my front door with the information RoRo had given birth overnight and so far she had not let the baby suckle. It always amazes me that great apes do not instinctively know how to look after their newborn babies. First time mothers sometimes reject their offspring simply through lack of experience, often learnt by watching other females with their babies. And as RoRo was herself an orphan that was stolen away from her mother at a young age, we did wonder if she would care for her first born.

The birth appeared to have gone well as Jeremy found RoRo tucked up with her baby on that first morning. She had cut the umbilical cord, cleaned the infant, and settled down with it facing forward so that the baby's back was against her belly. There was no chance that the baby was going to be able to suckle or cling to her mother's chest. Jeremy spent hours that morning watching RoRo to see if was going to feed her baby. After several hours it did not appear that anything was going to change and then RoRo made the decision for us. She grabbed hold of a blanket and swaddled her newborn infant. At this point it was clear that while RoRo liked the baby she had no intention of letting it feed – it had become a toy.

By the time I arrived at Monkey World Jeremy had removed the baby. That was my cue to step in as foster mum and set up a temporary home on site at Monkey World. An incubator had already been warmed up in the orangutan house, so it was easy to transport the baby in the heated incubator to her new home. The baby was female and she received her first visit from the vet on her birthday, just to make sure that everything was functioning as it should. She weighed 1.78 kgs and everything was in good working order.

Then it was time for her first bottle, which can be difficult as the artificial teat can have a strange taste and feel. Normally a first bottle will be simply boiled water and a rehydration powder, which dissolves into an easily digested energy drink. It is very important to hydrate a newborn baby and then slowly move onto a milk drink. We started her first milk bottle with ¼ strength formula to make sure it wasn't too rich for her digestive system. Over the next couple of days her bottles were increased to full strength. The baby took 30 ml of water on her first bottle and then I began two hourly feeds, night and day, that averaged 250-300 mls per day. She is also given drinks of boiled water in between her milk drinks in case she feels thirsty.

By mid-October she was taking approximately 350 mls of milk per day. Now her teeth are coming through which is causing some discomfort and putting her off her bottles. A small amount of Bonjela rubbed on her gums helps ease the pain. Although she has a good selection of teething toys, her favourites are her own fist or my fingers, but this will soon stop once her first teeth are through. Her co-ordination is also coming along well and at the time of writing this she is sat on my knee and trying to reach up and touch my glasses, which mostly results in her slapping me across the face. She is able to push herself up onto her elbows and has for the past three weeks been able to crawl slowly across the room.

On October 20th she had grown to weigh 2.5 kgs. Her mum RoRo, who had been confiscated from the illegal pet trade, was the first orangutan to come to Monkey World from the Pingtung Rescue Centre in Taiwan. RoRo and Tuan's baby was the first born from our co-operative conservation and breeding programme with the Pingtung Rescue Centre. We hope that this baby will be the first of many born from the co-operation of our two rescue centres as the future of orangutans in the wild is not good. At present it is estimated that orangutans will be extinct in the wild within the next 10 years.

Shortly after the birth, Vivien Lin, the manager of the Pingtung Rescue Centre, and one of her keepers, came to Monkey World to see the baby and observe how she was cared for. While they were here, we agreed to name the baby Hsiao-ning. The name Hsiao-ning ("Hsiao" is pronounced "Shou" to rhyme with "how") means "peaceful sunrise" and is quite fitting for a very important baby that represents the beginning of what will hopefully be a brighter future for these exceptionally endangered great apes.

Primate Update by Jeremy Keeling, Lee Butler, Marina Kenyon, Leanne Waterhouse, and Nikki Greenaway

Rodney's Group

Rodney – He has been very active lately. As the youngsters in his group are growing up he has been reminding them who is in charge! Rodney has also been playing a lot with Gypsy and Honey.

Jess – As a mature female, Jess flirts with Rodney and has not been paying as much attention to Arfur as she used to.

Cherri – She has been in high spirits lately. Cherri is very playful and active but still lets the younger chimps know that she is a dominant female with power.

Peggy – She still has Trudy's attention and enjoys looking after her. Even though Trudy is quite big now, Peggy can still be seen carrying her around.

Mona – She is often seen standing on her head, bottom in the air, laughing and generally being silly. Mona obviously enjoys this new game and the attention, from the others, it gets her.

Marjoline – When ever there is any trouble she looks to Mona for security. Mona loves Marjoline's attention so they are never far apart.

Eveline – She has fitted into the group well and stays out of trouble. Eveline is getting all of Gypsy's attention and she loves it!

Hananya – He is being rather brave lately. Hananya spends quite a bit of time with Rodney and on the first day they were able to play on a new tall tower, he was the first one to the top to enjoy the view.

Semach – He has lots of energy and enjoys showing off to people and chimps alike. Semach seems to enjoy leaping about in a wild and crazy manner and well as practicing his unique "frog" leaps.

Arfur – He still looks out for Jess although her attention is elsewhere - flirting with Rodney. Arfur now spends his time as one of the lads, hanging out with Simon, Tikko, Semach and Gypsy.

Tikko – He is the dark horse of the group. While the other younger males spend most of their time messing about, Tikko tends to mix more with the adults and mates with the adult females when Rodney isn't looking.

Simon – He has changed quite a lot lately. Physically Simon is a big boy yet he is still young enough to show a more youthful and playful side to his character. With the recent climbing frame expansion, Simon has been the leader in attempts to disassemble new structures!

Valerie – She has grown a lot in the past year. Valerie no longer looks like a youngster and her character has also matured so that she is not so dependant upon Mona for support anymore.

Joline – She has always been the most introverted of the chimps we got from the Dutch laboratory. Joline has mature a lot and become more self-confident even though she is not as social as the others. She is still very close to Valerie and spends a lot of time with her.

Honey – She is the only female brave enough to slap Gypsy back when he is being a bully. Indeed, Honey has learned from Gypsy and will give him a quick slap just to get fun and games underway. Honey is a friendly chimp that is always up for a game.

Gypsy – He is a very happy and playful individual. Gypsy has always got a long with most of the chimps in his troop but ever since he arrived in the group, he has teased and provoked Rodney, the dominant male. As it happens, Rodney seems to enjoy the attention and they are actually quite close.

Trudy – She has now entering adolescence yet still behaves like a youngster. Trudy is very close to Cherri and even though she is now seven years old, Cherri still carries her around like a baby from time to time.

Paddy's Group

Paddy – He is the Alpha male of his group of 24. Paddy does show his soft side from time to time, especially when his daughter Eddi wants to play. He is a large male chimp that is a gentle giant with babies.

Jimmy – He is still Paddy's second in charge. Jimmy tries to impress the ladies with his displays but it is unlikely that he will ever match up to Paddy.

Paco – He is maturing into a large, kind male. Paco has a very quiet nature that wins him a lot of friends amongst the ladies. With so many friends it is likely that he will take charge of the group after Paddy.

Micky – He is a quiet but strong character. Micky always stays out of trouble but is there in the event of a threat to the group – a real team player. He enjoys playing with Hebe and Busta.

Busta – He is always looking for a partner to have fun with. Busta does not appear to have any interest in the politics of the group, he just wants to know what everyone is doing for fun next.

Gamba – Even though he has grown quite a bit, Gamba is still a small "person". What he lack in stature he makes up for in character and he is always up to mischief in the group.

Cindy – She has a dominant role within the group but is never sure of her position so she is often seen looking to Paddy for reassurance. Cindy is a great defender of the group and always keeps an eye out for everyone.

Beth – She is the highest ranking female in Paddy's group. Beth appears to be very self-contained as she rarely seeks the companionship of others. They come to her!

Susie – She has turned out to be an excellent mother with the patience of a saint. Eddi is quite a handful to look after, especially in a group of 23 other chimps. Susie's rank within the group has gone up since she had the baby.

Eddi – She is an amazingly pushy individual considering how small she is. Eddie always knows what she wants and lets anyone who gets in her way know. She keeps her Mum on her toes as she begins to wander off more and more.

Grisby – She is another female that is very self-contained. While Grisby gets on well within the group, she is most often found on her own, doing her own thing. She has quite a placid nature.

Cathy – She is probably the largest female chimp at the park. Luckily for the others, Cathy is good-natured and never seems to trouble anyone. Cathy enjoys sitting at the top of her new climbing frame, looking across the park to Rodney's group.

Kay – When she first arrived at the park, she was very nervous and was often seen rocking back and forth. Kay has matured over the years and is now a very forceful character, objecting to anyone who is new or causes her a problem.

Athena – Over the past couple of years she has really matured both physically and mentally. Athena is a very strong willed character that has a lot to say for herself.

Clin – She is quite a loner but is happy to mix in with the others. Clin has an obsessive/compulsive nature and still hoards her food at meal times.

Peppa – She is a low ranking female and generally keeps to herself. Peppa used to be very close to Gamba but that is not the case anymore as she is finding her position in the adult hierarchy.

Chatta – She is very fond of Eddie and is never away from her. Chatta can be possessive over the baby but is always very good about returning her to her mother.

Olympia – She is a low ranking female that does not appear to have many close friends. Olympia and Hebe are still very close but as Hebe matures, the mother/daughter bonds are loosening.

Hebe – She is doing very well in the group, and always sleeps with her Mum at night time. Hebe is quite a playful character and has started to take an interest in playing with her younger sister Eddi as well as Busta, Gamba, Micky, and Jimmy.

Zoe – She is a high ranking female that has quite a strong character. Zoe seems very placid but if something surprises the group she is one of the first to put on an impressive display.

Lola – She is a low ranking individual who spends a lot of time around Eddi and Susie. Lola seems very shy and quiet but when push comes to shove, she can be quite a forceful character.

Bixa – She is a high ranking female who is never far away from Paddy or Evie. Bixa is an older lady that is not interested in any of the silly games the others might play. She likes her high status and has no intention of leaving Paddy's side.

Evie – She too is a high ranking female who is never far away from Paddy. Evie is mature enough that all she is interested in is her food, her man, and maybe a bit of time for Bixa.

Bachelor Group

Butch – He is the Alpha male that keeps the group under control with the help of Jestah and Buxom. Butch has settled down in the last couple of years and maintains his top position because the others respect him.

Jestah – He is a high ranking individual that has quite a bad attitude. Jestah is good friends with Butch and Buxom but is very serious with the others. He keeps everyone on their toes.

Buxom – Along with Butch and Jestah, he is a high ranking individual. Buxom is a quiet individual and generally keeps to himself.

Sammy – He is a happy go lucky kind of fellow. Sam likes everyone and having fun and because of his character the introductions with Alberto have been going very well.

Rocky – He is a nervous character that often jumps at his own shadow. All the others in the group like Rocky and he is particularly close to Mojo.

Mojo – He is a very quiet individual and likes the easy life. Mojo avoids all conflict but is tight within the group and will come to the defence of the others if there is a threat to the group. He is very close with Rocky.

Kyko – He is a low ranking individual that everyone likes. Kyko does not have any political ambitions and is happy to groom anyone who lets him.

Charlie – He is a strong member of the group that everyone likes. Charlie has not given up his old ways and still displays at passing tanks. While several of the others have been meeting the newcomer Alberto, Charlie lets the keepers know that he is also quite eager by sitting at the slide and knocking on the door.

Freddy – He is a boisterous character in the group. Freddy is always trying to impress the ‘big boys' and all the others seem to enjoy his company. He is very spoilt by the others and gets away with just about anything.

Pacito – He has become a carbon copy of Freddy. Pacito obviously looks up to Freddy and tries to copy all of his silly games. He still enjoys the company of people and loves to sit at the windows and interact with visitors to the park.

Alberto – He is settling in well and has met Butch, Jestah, and Sammy so far. Up until now Alberto could not understand that other chimps could be fun, but when he met Sammy, the two of them seemed to click. They still are very ‘rough and tumble' with each other but it is clear that both enjoy loping around the enclosure together.

Nursery group

Sally – She is still very close with Seamus and sleeps tucked up with him every night. Sally gets on well with everyone in the group, including Çarli who seems happy to accept that she is the dominant individual of the group.

Lulu – She has become more involved in group politics lately. While staying close to Sally, Lulu has also developed her friendship with Çarli. She is also more involved with the youngsters now and likes the newcomers, Ben and Pip.

Çarli – He is a happy clown at all times. We have never had such a friendly adult male chimp before. Çarli absolutely loves Tutti and Johni and enjoys grroming and carrying them around. He also gets on well with Seamus but instead of nurturing Seamus he likes to tease him.

Seamus – He acts like a big baby with Sally and then turns around and shows off for the likes of Ben and Pip. Seamus enjoys playing with Çarli but is cautious of the big male.

Johni – She has recently had an operation on a tumour that we found on her back. The scar is healing well and the vets are hopeful that they removed all of the dangerous tissue. Johni is quite a sensitive little girl and whimpers very quickly when she doesn't get her way.

Tutti – With Çarli as her constant companion and protector, she has become very spoilt and ambitious. Tutti also had an operation recently as she had a swelling on her cheek. A grass seed was removed from her cheek and the scar is healing well.

Ben – He has grown a lot physically but not quite as much mentally. Ben is a very friendly lad but hasn't got his head around Seamus' rough and tumble games yet. He absolutely loves celery, even more than fruit!

Pip – She is an ambitious and intelligent little girl. As a result, Pip is loving the introductions to the Nursery group, even introductions to the big adults. Whenever Ben gets upset however, she is right there for him.


Tuan – For a short period of time Tuan was separated from Gordon as he got angry when Gordon tried to stop him mating Amy. Tuan couldn't understand why all the others were not with him but is happy that everyone is re-united now. He has recently become much more confident as he has taken charge of his territory and family.

RoRo – She didn't take long to get over missing her baby. RoRo sticks to herself and is most often seen with Tuan. The two have been spending so much time together that it is possible that RoRo is already pregnant again.

Amy – She still doesn't really like Tuan but allows him to mate her from time to time. Amy is only ever close to Gordon whom she grooms from time to time. We are still monitoring Amy's weight but she is looking pretty fit now.

Gordon – He is now living with all the others, all the time, but he still takes a wide berth around Tuan. Gordon is at the stage in his life when he is making the transition from childhood to adolescence and when he is feeling like a baby he heads straight for Amy. Gordon still loves playing with everyone, but it has become less physical, and his hair is now getting quite bushy.

Hsiao-quai – Tuan is her hero and she loves him. Hsiao-quai is always busy sorting things out, such as the bedding, the food, toys, branches, and the others! She is a real organiser.

Lucky – She is starting to mature and her character is developing. Lucky is having more fun now and seems to be appreciative of her stable home and family.

Hsiao-lan – Since arriving at the park she has grown a lot. Hsiao-lan is not a trusting individual and is sceptical of everyone, human or orangutan, at all times. She is very active, like RoRo, and is often seen striding around the enclosure.


Siamang – The siamang family is getting along very well together. At three years old, baby Onion is almost full-grown and has been singing with his parents. His father Sam has had a vasectomy so that there are no more babies as it is not easy to find good homes for them.

Golden-cheeked – We have five golden-cheeked gibbons at the moment but we are busy trying to make arrangements for some males to come to the park to pair with our ladies. The females Zoey and Peanut still have a mother/daughter relationship but Peanut is growing up and needs a bit of time on her own now and again. Alex and Pung-Yo have a close mother/son relationship. They are together in evenings and at night but during the day Pung-Yo is let through to play with Paul, the agile gibbon. While Pung-Yo is off during the day, Alex is let through to Vietta. The two ladies enjoy each others company and spend most of their time sitting together, sometimes grooming.

Muellers – Fox and Nini are great together and are seen playing from time to time. Nini has grown a lot since he arrived at the park and he enjoys calling most every morning. Fox is an indoor person and cannot take his eyes off the adoring public. Adidas and Dalumie are a very tight knit pair and spend lots of time together playing and grooming. Adidas has finally got the idea about mating.

Agile – Paul clearly missed Puma when she was put to sleep but he is doing well with loads of attention from the keepers. He also spends his days with Pung-Yo playing and we will of course be looking for a mate for him.

Lar – The family group, of Ella, Nike and Kitty are doing well together. Nike loves being with his two ladies and even with a huge diet, he remains slim. Ella had medical problems, with broken teeth and a piece of wire trapped in her hip, but the vet and dentist have repaired all the damage from her previous life. All three groom each other even though Kitty is closer to Ella than Nike.


Tom – He has finally lost all his excess weight even though he still looks a bit saggy! Tom is over the moon to be on a normal diet again. He is a very kind individual and has become very close to TJ.
Jerry – He does not like TJ so much, probably because TJ is so much younger and leaps around too much. Jerry is a bit of a grumpy old man but very kind.
Terri – She is a very happy individual who, like Jerry, didn't like TJ either. Terri seems to have gotten over this problem and is now happy to have TJ around. She likes nothing better then sitting in sun outside.
TJ – He is growing up both mentally and physically. TJ has settled down a lot since his arrival at the park and loves spending all his time with Tom.

Common Marmosets

We have four female common marmosets, Connie, Betty-Boo, Gaby, and Mystic. They are now living all together and seem to be getting along very well. Soon all four ladies will meet our Goeldi's monkeys. Louis and Harry, our male/female pair, have had twins – one boy and one girl that have been named Henry and Hazel. Both Harry and Louis are excellent parents. Our male marmosets are currently in two groups: the pair Leo and Nathan and the trio Taz, Billy, and Matthew. We are slowly introducing them together as Taz is still very nervous around Leo and Nathan.


We currently have 20 ring-tailed lemurs, 13 males and 7 females. At present all of the females are on birth control as the group is so large that if it continued to expand, it might fragment into separate groups. So for the time being we have stopped breeding and we also separated the ladies from the males during the breeding season to avoid aggression amongst the group.


The stump-tails have made an amazing recovery from their previous life. They are now rehabilitated into two social groups, a group of eight younger males (Scott, David, Tim, Sam, Fred, Jonathan, Paddy, and Phil) and an older group of seven that has three females and four males (Erika, Effie, Louise, Bazak, Gerald, Roland, and Griff). Sadly we had to put Jason and Nick, two very elderly males, to sleep.


We have eight squirrel monkeys, many of which are getting quite old now. There are a few youngsters in the group but we have put them on birth control as they are related to the dominant male Joey. The whole group loves spending most of their time outside catching insects in their beautiful enclosure.

Woolly Monkeys

We now have two groups of woolly monkeys in the park. There have been many changes in our existing group and we have swapped individuals with other wildlife parks. In our original group we have a new male coming from Holland named Mendez, and he will be in charge of the four females, Xuzy, Milagra, Willy, and Chica. This group will soon have a second outdoor enclosure in the coming weeks. We have a second group of woolly monkeys at the park that have just been moved to the third playroom in the stump-tail building. The group of four really enjoy their new home and love flying through the high climbing frames and ropes. The dominant male is called Levar and he is with three females named Lorna, Kuna and Yarima.

Barbary Macaques and Ruffed Lemurs

Both of these groups have only two individuals remaining. May and June, the barbary macaques, are now sharing their house and enclosure with Blue and Inky, the ruffed lemurs. The two groups have been introduced together and while they are not socialising, they appear to accept each other's company. We want the two groups to go together so that no one individual is left alone when anyone passes away.

Thailand Update

Some of you may have seen reports about Monkey World's undercover investigation of orangutans that are being used in the entertainment industry in Thailand. We first revealed some of our findings last year but this information was part of an ongoing investigation. After two and a half years investigation of wildlife markets and wildlife parks in Thailand, Jim and Alison Cronin are meeting with and presenting their information to the First Secretary of the Thai Embassy in London. At Safari World the Cronin's were shocked to see young orangutans dressed up and forced to perform a Thai boxing match yet the greater concern was where the park had acquired so many young orangutans? Jim and Alison were able to identify that the amusement park had up to 40 orangutans yet reports from local papers are now indicating that 116 babies have been found at the park. Monkey World will be calling on the authorities to confiscate and re-home the illegal orangutan babies.

Please help us in our campaign to stop this barbaric illegal trade which will contribute to the extinction of orangutans in the wild. Please write to:

The Ambassador
The Thai Embassy
29 – 30 Queens Gate
London, W1X 7DX

Let him know that:

  1. You were shocked to find out that orangutans, and other wild animals, are being smuggled into his country illegally;
  2. That you demand that Thai authorities prosecute smugglers and confiscate illegal animals;
  3. And that you support Monkey World's campaign and that you will not travel in their country until you know that something is being done about the illegal wildlife trade.

Please send us a copy of your letter and any response that you receive. Please help us to help the orangutans.

Letter From The Editor

This year has gone by so quickly, we can hardly believe it. Over the past few months Jim and I have spent a lot of time in SE Asia collecting evidence of animal smugglers in Thailand (see Thailand Update) and working together with our Vietnamese and Taiwanese colleagues to set up an endangered primate rescue centre in Vietnam. It would be great to help establish a centre in southern Vietnam where confiscated golden-cheeked gibbons could go to – hopefully before they were ever smuggled out of the country. Negotiations are going well and we should be able to fill everyone in on the details by the time of the next ARC.

Meanwhile at the park all is well and we have been expanding everyone's climbing frames. Without your support we would not be able to continue rescuing and rehabilitating so many monkeys and apes. Over the past few months supporters have sent in donations, birthday presents for the primates, bread, baby formula, fruit, vegetables, nuts, dried fruit, rice cakes, vitamins, towels, blankets, and heavy duty dog toys and fire hoses. Thanks for all your support, it is greatly appreciated by the monkeys and apes. In particular we would like to say thank you to: the Co-op in Swanage for donating pumpkins, Poole Harbour Commission for steel rope, Bridport Aviation for cargo nets, The Fellowship of Animal Lovers for a generous donation, the Endoscopy Suite staff at Poole Hospital for the proceeds of a dinner dance, the Cardiothoracic Centre at Liverpool NHS for a large donation of medical supplies, Group Accounts at BP for donations from a quiz evening, Mr and Mrs Harris for the proceeds of a furniture sale, Amanda Grant for getting sponsorship for the Great Scottish Run, Andrew Blackmore for sponsorship for the Bristol half marathon. Others sent in collection boxes, asked for donations instead of presents, had car boot sales, and sent on left over foreign monies. Well done and thank you to everyone. Mrs Joy Weller brought us a beautiful memorial stone for the passing of our capuchin monkeys, Arthur and Sinbad, and we would like to send our condolences to the families of Miss S Dadswell, Mr Derek Vince, Ms Terese Baker, and Mrs M Price. They will be missed by family and friends alike.

Over the winter we are moving ahead with plans for our new hospital, we are finishing off the first stage of the new orangutan complex, which will also be home to two pairs of gibbons. And more importantly we are making arrangements for the arrival of a new orangutan, a couple of gibbons, a woolly monkey, and hopefully a couple of chimps! We are all very excited but none of this could be achieved without your support. Thank you again.

All the best for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.