Rescued apes get sanctuary on Island

By Matthew McKew

Sunday, February 16, 2014

 

Rescued apes get sanctuary on Island

Barbary macaques settling into their new home. Picture by Peter Boam.

RESCUED apes from across Europe have been given a new home at the Isle of Wight Owl and Monkey Haven in Newport.

Six Barbary macaques have been transported from a rescue home in the Netherlands, to the haven. They were all victims of the illegal pet trade and were introduced to their new home last month.

Kelly Wickes, of the sanctuary, said: "We are so excited by this. It has taken around a year to get everything ready. A team from the Netherlands were here for a few days to help them settle in."

Owner, Don Walser, said: "They’re such intelligent animals and they’ve been subjected to cruel conditions. The psychological impacts have been so severe that these animals have absolutely no chance of fending for themselves in the wild. They just wouldn’t survive."

Don hopes that by taking on these monkeys, the Dutch rescue centre will be able to save more.

Researchers from the University of Portsmouth hope to study the primates and compare their behaviour to the resident Rhesus macaques.

The apes are native to Northern Africa and famous for occupying the Rock of Gibraltar.

Reporter: matthewm@iwcpmail.co.uk

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