Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre

18 August 2019


Long time no see! I've had a lot going on and I haven't had the time to blog much recently, but I'm hoping to turn that back around! I will have a wee catch up post at some point in the near future, but first I wanted to tell you about a trip I went on a few months ago with my mum. (slightly picture heavy)

Monkey World was founded in 1987 by the late Jim Cronin in order for abused chimpanzees to live in a safe, and more natural environment. Current day, the park is now 65 acres and is home to over 250 primates from over 20 species.

A bit of background;

One year ago, I was travelling once a week to my home town because I was providing maternity cover to one of the stores there. I also began taking driving lessons in secret (spoiler, I passed my test!). I was mostly back on a Saturday/Sunday, and one of those days, my mum and I were randomly scrolling through the channels when we stumbled upon 'Monkey Life' on Pick. I have a toy monkey called Marty, who would normally sit in the living room with us, so we watched it. And I was hooked so it was put onto a series link. My heart was stolen by a little orphaned orangutan called Bulu Mata.

The months burred together. August, September, October then November. I was still coming home, but only for my lessons and to see my mum. As it was drawing closer to Christmas time, I decided that I wanted to adopt Bulu Mata. So, I did. Then my mum got me one of the Iceland 'Rang Tans' and we named him Bulu.

Flash forward to a few months ago. (May, to be exact!) I had a week off work, and as mum managed to get the same week off, we decided that we were going to go for a few days in Blackpool as well as a day trip down to Dorset to finally visit the Ape Rescue Centre.

On Tuesday 7 May, we began our journey down. The satnav had initially said that it would take 5 hours, but because mum had accidentally hit "avoid motorways" (I'll never stop casting it up to you!), it took 8. We arrived at roughly 3pm. I paid for mum's entry as a treat, and as I have my adoption, I get free entry to the park.

It was so surreal seeing this place I'd only watched on TV before! We had a few bags of food donations for the primates, so our first stop was quickly to the gift shop (which has so many monkey themed items and monkey puns that I adore) in order to drop them off.

As we walked around, we first saw a couple of Golden Cheeked Gibbons, that I believe were Jake and Zoey. We even heard a little bit of them singing! Then, as we were wandering around (we eventually got ourselves a map because the place is so big and we got lost a lot), we overheard some excitable chimpanzees, which we knew must have been Hananya's group. We were following the noise, and as we walked by, we got distracted by spotting Hsaio-Lan wandering carefree in her outdoor encloser, and Gordon having a rest as he looked out at the park from the highest point he could climb to. (I was worried about Amy as she's one of the oldest Orangs but we later found her having a nap inside. Thankfully!) I won't lie, it's kinda sad that I can recognise the Orangs' faces... but the signs telling who lived in the enclosures did help a little!

There weren't many chimps outside in Hananya's enclosure, and inside we just saw one cheeky chimp go for a nap. It was then that we decided that, as it was getting a bit later on, our mission was to find the Orang nursery to see Bulu Mata, and then the Jim Cronin memorial.

We walked around in a few circles, admiring the woolly monkeys (one of whom did a double take as they saw me holding Marty, which I found really funny!), and the rest of the Gibbons. We got a look at the marmosets and watched as some of the smaller primates ran over our heads on a walk way from their inside enclosure to the outside.

When we finally found the Orang nursery, I was sad that I couldn't immediately see Bulu Mata, but we did get to see Oshine, who was so much smaller than we both expected! Then we spotted a Primate Care Staff member walking by, so we asked her if Bulu Mata was in the enclosure. Turns out, he was right in front of us! But he's grown up so much we didn't recognise him.

It also looked like Oshine was telling him to go up to the window and see me (because they were looking at each other and it looked as though she was pointing to the window.) And he, begrudgingly, came up. He didn't seem too interested in me, or my toy monkeys and quickly walked away. But little Mimi Loren came up to say hello!

It was getting closer to 5pm at this point, so we wanted to quickly see the Jim Cronin memorial, then the gift shop before we travelled back to Blackpool.

The whole time we were there, the park was just so relaxing, with really approachable staff. We didn't feel rushed, and it was really nice to just walk around. One thing I will say is that their accessibility is really good, and, they even have sensory statues. Unfortunately, these were cordoned off, requiring you to find a member of PCS to access the key, limiting the accessibility. I do get that it's likely to prevent them from being damaged, but it's something to be aware of if you require the use of these statues.

I adore the work that Monkey World do, and I'm planning on getting my adoption renewed this year. (the cost of an adult adoption is £35 a year, which is essentially the price of two and a half adult visits.)

There's still a lot of work to be done to stop the pet trade, and also a lot of work needed to increase the awareness of the negative impact of the Palm Oil trade (I may do another post on this, as I've recently decided to make a more conscious effort to buy only sustainable Palm Oil. Do not boycott it completely.) But, it's great to know that the primates have a safe home here, with people who truly care about the animals' welfare, even if it's really sad that a place like this is needed.


I truly miss the park, and although I'm 9 hours away, in Glasgow, I can't wait to go back and spend more time getting to see all the primates getting up to nonsense! Maybe next time I'll be able to see the "ugly" monkeys (Stump Tailed Macaques), slow loris' and the lemurs?

Have you visited the park, or have you watched the show on Pick?
Until next time, be excellent to each other.