Monkey World

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Not to be confused with Monkey Planet.
Monkey World
Date opened 7 August 1987
Location Dorset, England
Land area 65 acres (26.3 ha)
Number of animals Over 250[1]
Number of species 20

Coordinates: 50°41′50″N 2°13′04″W / 50.697311°N 2.217725°W / 50.697311; -2.217725 The Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre is a 65-acre (26.3 ha) ape and monkey sanctuary and rescue centre near Wool, Dorset, England.


Entrance, photographed in May 2006

Set up in 1987 by Jim Cronin with assistance from Jeremy Keeling,[2] and later operated by both Jim and his wife Alison with a team of care staff led by Jeremy, Monkey World was originally intended to provide a home for abused chimpanzees used as props by Spanish beach photographers, but is now home to many different species of primates.[3]

Monkey World works with foreign governments to stop the illegal smuggling of wild primates. In January 2008 the group performed what The Guardian called "the world's biggest rescue mission of its kind," when it saved 88 capuchin monkeys from a laboratory in Santiago, Chile, where some of the animals had been kept in solitary cages for up to 20 years.[4] The operation was carried out at the request of the laboratory, and with help from the Chilean Air Force, who flew the animals to Bournemouth airport with special permission from the British government.[5]

In August 2010 Monkey World rescued a Bornean orangutan called Oshine from Johannesburg, South Africa. On 7 December 2010 Monkey World rescued an orphan baby Sumatran orangutan called Silvestre from a zoo in Spain. In January 2011, Monkey World rescued a chimpanzee named Kiki from Lebanon.[6]

On Saturday 17 March 2007 Jim Cronin died in a New York hospital aged 55 years, from liver cancer. His widow Alison Cronin and the staff at Monkey World have continued to run the centre.[7]

Dao Tien Rescue Centre[edit]

In 2008, Monkey World, Pingtung Rescue Centre, Cat Tien National Park and the Forestry Protection Department worked together to create the Dao Tien Rescue centre in South Vietnam to save gibbons and other primates from the pet trade, smuggling, theme parks, and restaurants.[8] Since opening the centre in 2008, Dao Tien has confiscated and/or rescued over 50 endangered primates including golden-cheeked gibbons, pygmy slow loris, black-shanked douc, grey-shanked douc, southern white-cheeked gibbon, northern buffed-cheeked gibbon and silvered langur. 27 of these primates have been rehabilitated and released into native habitats. After release they are tracked using radio collars.[9][10]

Television appearances[edit]

The TV documentary Monkey Business has completed its 9th season and its successor Monkey Life, going on its 8th season. Other television appearances include:

  • Monkey Life - Season 4 on National Geographic Channel
    • Seasons 1, 2 & 3 on Animal Planet; currently showing on Animal Planet (Europe)
  • Monkey Business on ITV and Animal Planet. A concluded series produced by Meridian Television focusing on Monkey World. Nine series have been broadcast to date, with two specials on "Jim Cronin's Legacy" broadcast in June 2008. Monkey Business has been succeeded by Monkey Life, produced by Primate Planet Productions Ltd.
  • Nature Watch on ITV
  • Operation Chimpanzee on BBC
  • State of the Ark on BBC
  • Animal Hospital on BBC
  • CNN & Sky TV, highlighting a rescue operation in Turkey of smuggled chimpanzees
  • ITV GMTV, covering the illegal pet trade in Turkey. Since 1998 Monkey World has been working in cooperation with the Turkish Government to stop the smuggling of chimpanzees from the wild for the entertainment and pet trade.
  • QED Saving Trudy on BBC

Russell Brand often talks about Monkey World in his BBC Radio 2 programme and podcast, and he mentions it on Big Brother Celebrity Highjack when a house mate makes monkey noises.


Monkey World has won a number of awards, including:[11]

  • Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence, 2014, 2012 and 2011[12]
  • Highly Commended Bournemouth Tourism Awards, 2012[13]
  • The Independent 50 Best Spring Days out in Britain, 2004
  • The Good Britain Guide, Family Attraction of the Year for Dorset, 2000

Jim Cronin and Alison Cronin jointly received the Jane Goodall Award for their work with Monkey World.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rescue & Rehabilitation". Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "UK | England | Dorset | Monkey World boss Jim Cronin dies". BBC News. 2007-03-20. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  3. ^ "Jim's Dream". Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "UK | England | Dorset | Charity rescues Chilean monkeys". BBC News. 2008-01-30. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  5. ^ Balakrishnan, Angela. "Dorset sanctuary completes world's biggest monkey rescue", The Guardian, 30 January 2008.
  6. ^ "Kiki the rescued chimpanzee welcomed at Monkey World (From Bournemouth Echo)". 2011-01-29. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  7. ^ Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre - MONKEY BUSINESS STAR DIES
  8. ^ "Dao Tien Endangered Primate Species Centre Background". EAST. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "About Us". EAST. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "The Primates at Dao Tien". EAST. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Monkey World Awards". Monkey World. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Monkey World". Tripadvisor. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "Bournemouth Tourism Awards: who were the winners?". Daily Echo. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "Monkey World – Ape Rescue Centre". Indie YA Books. Retrieved 10 October 2014.