Peppa the Chimpanzee
There is of course a certain irony that Monkey World, a place dedicated to saving apes and monkeys from human exploitation, is itself partly dependant on exhibiting the rescued animals to the public.
It certainly struck home to me when Peppa, a female chimpanzee, rushed over to the glass and posed in front of my camera. It turns out that she had been used as a photographer’s prop in Spain, and here I am 'exploiting' her again.
However, compared to the only time Iʼve photographed chimps in the wild, I have to say that it was a whole lot easier. And, compared to the conditions these animals were being kept in, they couldnʼt get much better, even though Dorset will never be as warm as a tropical rain forest.
For opening times, admission prices, etc. please see the official site detailed below.
The Jim Cronin Memorial
In 1987 Jim Cronin, a New Yorker, took a long lease on a derelict pig farm next to the tank ranges in Dorset, and set up the sanctuary to provide a permanent home for chimpanzees who were victims of the Spanish beach photography trade.
Since then the work has expanded to cover other abused animals, such as laboratory animals and unwanted pets, and includes many other species of primate.
Cronin died of cancer in 2007, but the work is carried on by his wife Dr Alison Cronin, who is originally from California.