Monkey World has welcomed four more infant primates to the park in 2019, all of whom are at risk of extinction in the wild. Three have been born at the park, and one is an orphan, adopted into a group here, but all are endangered and their lives are pivotal for their species as a whole.
Rescue centres such as Monkey World are progressively leading the way in wildlife conservation worldwide, and becoming hotspots for battling the illegal wildlife trade. Monkey World was founded in 1987 on the basis of assisting governments around the globe to stop the smuggling of primates from the wild. To date the centre has assisted 28 governments to stop the smuggling, abuse, or neglect of primates as primates are still being used and abused for human entertainment, both in the tourist trade and as pets.
While Monkey World provides a home for the refugees of the illegal trade, it also has an important role to play in conservation through working with rescue centres in countries which these primates come from as well as research into species that little is known about. By contributing to the conservation of four endangered species, the rescue centre hopes the future will be bright not just for the new arrivals at the park, but for the future of the species too.
The stories of the four infant primates are as follows:
Rare Guenons Confiscated from Lebanese Airport Make a Family
Monkey World has recently celebrated the birth of a baby red-bellied guenon. Mother, Nia, is doing a fantastic job, with a strong healthy baby as a result. She can be seen often taking her baby outside to enjoy the Dorset sunshine. Red-bellied guenons are endemic to Benin and are not found anywhere else in the world- apart from Monkey World. In 2018, Dr Alison Cronin, Monkey World Director, travelled to Lebanon to rescue a pair of guenons who had been hunted from the wild, smuggled from Benin to Ghana, and then into Beirut on a passenger plane. Red-bellied guenons are under threat in the wild, with their populations decreasing by 50% over the last 30 years due to deforestation and hunting. Back at the park, the two smuggled monkeys regained their health, and put on weight thanks to the careful management of the primate keepers. Now, with a youngster born to the pair, their family is complete!
Orang-utan Nursery Proving Vital for European Orphans
In March 2019, another orphaned orangutan moved to the park in order to grow up with others of its own kind. Hujan was born at Zoo Krefeld, in Germany but had to be hand-reared as his mother became ill soon after birth. Although the keepers attempted to reintroduce him to the group, the adults would not accept him, and so he needed a new family. As European Orang-utan Crèche, Monkey World takes in any orang-utans orphaned or rejected in zoos or wildlife parks – to date Monkey World has received orphans seven orphans from five different countries. Growing up amongst their own kind gives orang-utans the skill and knowledge to raise their own young in the future. Both species of orang-utan, Bornean and Sumatran, are critically endangered as a result of deforestation for palm oil plantations and from poaching for the illegal pet trade and entertainment industry, so it is vital that mothers care for their babies and the cycle of abandonment is broken. Now at 18 months old, Hujan is joining a group with one adult male, three adult females and a juvenile female.
Slow Loris Birth at Monkey World Kicks Off Breeding Programme
Slow loris are increasingly smuggled from the wild and killed for traditional medicine and bush meat, while the young babies are sold into the black market pet and tourist trade. The shy nocturnal primates are completely unsuited to life during the day and find being handled particularly stressful – in fact they are the only primate able to deliver a toxic bite. Because of their huge eyes and fluffy fur, their “cuteness” is killing them, and wild populations are rapidly decreasing. Monkey World has five loris at the park, all confiscated from the black market trades in Hong Kong, the Maldives, and Lebanon. We were delighted when one of the females, Nicki, gave birth however the baby was underweight and didn’t suckle, so the Monkey World team stepped in to care for the tiny 34g infant. Now at seven months old, the baby, named Bobbi Dazzler, is meeting Nora, a loris who was confiscated from a Beirut pet shop in 2018 as a youngster herself. Hopefully the pair will grow up together and eventually become mothers themselves one day.
Woolly Monkey Baby Adds to the World’s Largest Healthy Breeding Population
Experienced woolly monkey mother, Pacaja, has given birth to a beautiful baby girl on March 23rd. Pacaja is a wonderful mother who is very relaxed in her child-rearing, previously raising daughter Oriana and son Claud. The baby woolly monkey is the 22nd woolly monkey at the park, making Monkey World home to the largest population of healthy woolly monkeys in the world. These South American primates are prone to stress and high blood pressure and so are extremely difficult to keep and breed in captivity. Monkey World, however, has had enormous success over the years, due to the careful management of group dynamics, and the large choice of outdoor enclosures. The baby woolly monkey is settling into life with Paulo’s group, and proud mum Pacaja has been enjoying sunbathing with her new offspring in the warm weather. Monkey World hopes to pass on the knowledge gained from the breeding programme to in-situ rescue centres in range countries, to help bolster wild populations and save the species from extinction. In the wild this species Amazonian forest home is being decimated faster than any other forest in the world with more than 200,000 acres of forest destroyed since 2001 in Brazil alone and estimates that ¼ of the Amazon rainforest will be without trees by 2030.
Monkey World is open to the public every day, except Christmas. Visitors will see these beautiful rescued primates, being raised naturally with their own kind, and will be assisting with the rescue and conservation of some of the world’s most endangered primates.