Muddy says: Fancy an ethical, educational yet super-enjoyable day out for the kids? Monkey World has it all
Forget crocodiles in the Cotswolds and pandas in Edinburgh, the most exciting – and arguably the most important – wildlife rescue centre in the UK is Monkey World – Ape Rescue Centre in Wareham. Home to over 250 rescued and endangered primates, including Europe’s only orangutan crèche (too cute), it’s the perfect place for an ethical family day out.
Opened in 1987, Monkey World was one of the world’s first primate rescue centres whose mission was to provide a home for confiscated chimpanzees that had been stolen from the wild and were being worked as beach photographer’s props in the tourist industry of southern Europe. Now, it is a sanctuary for primates from all over the world, some of which are part of international breeding programmes for endangered species – check in here to see orang-utans (no need to hot-foot it to Borneo), gibbons, macaques, woolly monkeys, squirrel monkeys, marmosets, tamarins and lemurs. So, you can be sure you are helping the apes while entertaining your Mudlets. Just don’t do what I did and take the wrong little monkey home…
My brood loved super cute infants Mimi, Bulu Mata and Rieke playing in the crèche, or if your intellectual level is marginally higher than my lot, find out more about the conservation and animal education taking place here with half-hourly talks by the dedicated Primate Care Staff explaining all about man’s closest living relative. While Monkey World is not a zoo, it is an educational and impressive day out for the kids, and it’s amazing learning about the work the good people here do.
You can support Monkey World in their rescue and rehabilitation work by taking part in the Adopt a Primate Scheme. Prices start from £25 for the year and include a photograph, certificate, three editions of the Ape Rescue Chronicle and free entry to the park for a year! All funds from adoptions are used solely for the rescue and rehabilitation of primates in need around the world.