Lost Monkey Finds Sanctuary In Dorset Primate Rescue Centre

On Wednesday 8th May, Monkey World in Dorset rehomed Marcel, a now infamous Geoffroy’s marmoset, who hit the press after being discovered in a conservatory in Wolverhampton. A local domestic pet rescue organisation collected the marmoset & named him Marcel but sought expert advice & care as marmosets require specialist care that cannot be provided in a normal household situation. Wings & Paws recognised that their foster situation was not appropriate for Marcel and contacted the Director of Monkey World for advice.

On arrival to the Dorset rescue centre, it was clear Marcel was showing signs of nutritional bone disease, or “rickets”, as well as missing half of his tail. The Primate Care Staff immediately gave Marcel vitamin D3, along with a correct diet for a marmoset to combat the effects a poor pet trade environment and diet has had on this South American primate.

Geoffory Marmoset Marcel sat on a branch in enclosure in monkey World; you can see he is missing half his tail

At Monkey World Marcel has a natural overgrown outdoor enclosure where he can sunbathe, catch insects, and branch run and jump as a marmoset should; possibly for the first time in his life. Luckily for Marcel, Monkey World has rescued over 130 primates from the UK pet trade alone, all the while campaigning for UK laws to be changed to protect marmosets, and other monkeys. The centre is currently home to over 250 primates and has sadly had a lot of practise in in rehabilitating marmosets from the UK pet trade to full health.

Despite most marmosets being bred in captivity in the UK, marmosets are not tame or domesticated; they are intelligent, social wild animals and require specialist care that cannot be fulfilled in a domestic situation. Monkey World has rescued many solitary monkeys from bird cages, kept by well-meaning people who simply do not have the knowledge or space to care for the primates, nor understand the physical and psychological problems they are causing.

Marcel is due a veterinary health check and a vasectomy before he can have a complete happy and healthy life at Monkey World, enjoying the correct diet, outside space, and companionship of his own kind. These social monkeys suffer in solitary confinement in the pet trade & the best rehabilitation Monkey World can offer them is a family of their own kind again.

Marcel was quick to explore his outside enclosure at the rescue centre in Dorset.

Director of Monkey World, Dr Alison Cronin said “It is most likely that Marcel escaped from his cage as part of the British pet trade. His injured and amputated tail as well as his distorted spine and hips are indicative of a marmoset that has been kept in inappropriate circumstances and fed a bad diet for a significant period of time. Marcel got lucky, he did not freeze to death while loose on the streets of Wolverhampton and was cared for by Wings & Paws until a specialist home was found at Monkey World. It doesn’t matter where he was born or how he was kept previously, marmosets like Marcel need the correct diet, environment, and companionship of their own kind that they can groom, communicate, and form close social bonds with. All monkeys in the UK pet trade are deserving of these basic needs.”

Monkey World successfully campaigned & advised the government on legislating the primate pet trade in the UK, which was passed into law in March 2024 and will ban primates being kept as pets without a license from April 2026.

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