Monday 28 February 2022

Two very different visits to Monkey World

Recently I wrote about how Mia had adopted a primate from Monkey World with some of her Christmas money. She chose to adopt Kim, a golden-cheeked gibbon who was born at the park. Since then we have discovered the television series Monkey Life which has been running for years and features all the primates at the park and their back stories. We've been watching an episode or two most days and are now pretty familiar with many of the primates and their stories.

Over half term we spent a week in Torquay, and because our adoption package includes admission to the park for the year we decided to visit on both the way there and the way back.

Unfortunately our first visit was badly timed. It was the day after Storm Eunice, and although the park was open we were warned that the majority of the outdoor enclosures were closed and that there was a lot of debris around the park. The weather forecast was also very bad with lots of rain. If we hadn't already booked our admission and weren't driving right past then we would have cancelled.

Monkey World Dorset information sign

With all the animals indoors it was a bit of pot luck as to what you could see. Some of the indoor enclosures are tucked well away and you can't see them from the path, just catch a glimpse through the windows. But luckily the indoor enclosure for Mia's adopted gibbon Kim had a lovely big glass window, and with Kim and her partner Tien indoors it was a great opportunity to see them really close up. There weren't many other people around so we were able to stand at the viewing window for ages watching them swing about and snack.

Monkey World Kim and Tien in indoor enclosure

But to be honest there wasn't a lot else to see in the park on that day, and when the rain started to get heavier we called it a day. Luckily the fact that we knew we would be back the following week made it less of a disappointing visit. The park was closed for the following two days and we learned from social media that they had wanted to close on the day of our visit but felt it was too short notice. But Mia was still really happy after our trip, she loved spotting the celebrity primates that she recognised from the television show and of course she was delighted to see Kim.

Our second visit the next week was much more successful. It was a lovely sunny day and the park was tidied up and fully open for visitors. All the outdoor enclosures were open and there was plenty to see. I think that my favourite primates are the orangutans, they are surprisingly graceful and you can tell that they are intelligent. They have such lovely eyes. 

Monkey World Orangutan outdoors in enclosure

All the primates have wonderful outdoor enclosures to enjoy, and although it was a chilly day there were plenty of them out and about to watch. We saw Kim and Tien sitting in the branches of their large enclosure and swinging about which was really nice to see, although they were too far away for a decent photograph!

Monkey World Orangutan outdoor enclosure

We spent much longer at the park this time and we even discovered a section of the park that we had missed the first time around as we stumbled through the rain! I think that my favourite primate at the park is the golden-cheeked gibbon Peanut, mum to Tien and two other gibbons that have now moved on to their own families. Now she lives in a lovely big enclosure with her partner Pung-Yo. I'm not sure if she's expected to have any more babies, as they do breed the golden-cheeked gibbons, or whether she is now happily enjoying her retirement!

Monkey World Peanut outdoors

I'd definitely recommend a visit to Monkey World if you have an interest in primates, and especially in the rescue and rehabilitation of primates. Watching the Monkey Life series definitely made me realise what an important place this is, there is a great deal going on behind the scenes that you wouldn't necessarily realise as a visitor. We will definitely be back for another visit or two while we have our adoption tickets (and I wouldn't be at all surprised if we end up renewing the adoption when it finishes!)

1 comment:

  1. It defiantly sounds like your 2nd visit was better than the 1st. That's so good that you got to see Kim who your daughter adopted. It sounds like a great day out x


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