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Keeping residents at the Monkey Sanctuary healthy and happy

Saturday November 4, 2017
Keeping residents at the Monkey Sanctuary healthy and happy

Caption: Koko and Kiki


Wild Futures, is a primate welfare and conservation charity, specialising in rescuing primates from the UK primate pet trade.  The Monkey Sanctuary is a project of the charity Wild Futures, and is supported by Viridian Nutrition through the donation of our ethical nutritional supplements to help the primates’ health and wellbeing. Becky Critchley, Primate Care Giver at Wild Futures, explains why donations are vital to the health of these small residents at The Monkey Sanctuary in this guest blog.

At our Monkey Sanctuary in Looe, Cornwall, we see first-hand the problems that the primate pet trade causes. We have 37 primates here, of which the majority are ex-pets from the UK. These ex-pets come to us with a variety of psychological, social, and physical problems due to the conditions they were kept in.


Most people we speak to are shocked to find out that it’s legal to keep monkeys as pets in the UK. It seems common sense to most that wild animals like monkeys are not suitable to live in a domestic setting, but sadly legislation does not support this. 


Some of the monkeys who we have rescued don’t even realise they are monkeys, because they’ve been kept by themselves since they were infants. These monkeys have to learn how to understand other monkeys and how to be polite in monkey society – which can be a long and hard journey! They can also show horrific abnormal behaviours such as pacing, rocking, over-grooming and even self-harming. It can take years of living in a social group with lots of mental and physical stimulation to see improvements in these behaviours.


Unfortunately most monkeys who are rescued come with a variety of physical health issues as well. We have had overweight monkeys, underweight monkeys, diabetic monkeys, monkeys with arthritis due to being kept too cold and monkeys with severe metabolic bone disease, all because of the conditions they were kept in. It is here that Viridian’s generous help is absolutely crucial for the health and wellbeing of the monkeys. Here is a little bit of information about how we use their donations. 


Caption: Boo eats porridge

Supplements and nutrition for primate health

First thing in the morning we give our monkeys a yellow ball of porridge that has essential vitamins donated from Viridian. The porridge gets it’s yellow colour from the multivitamin powder which is great for overall general health, it also contains joint oil which contains omega-3 fatty acids which reduces joint stiffness; folic acid which helps their bodies to produce and maintain new cells and glucosamine and chondroitin which help to slow or prevent the degeneration of joint cartilage, which is the underlying cause of osteoarthritis pain, making life better for some of our elderly monkeys with arthritis.


In the winter we also put in some Ester C which helps prevent colds by boosting their immune systems. So their little ball of porridge is jam-packed full of goodness and is essential to their physical well-being.


Later in the day at the Monkey Sanctuary we give our woolly monkeys a baked apple each, a delicious daily treat. Ivor, our eldest woolly monkey at the grand old age of 25, has kidney problems and so gets some Cranberry powder, also donated from Viridian, mixed into his, which helps prevent and treat UTI’s, which he is more prone to. 


Caption: Frosty eating porridge 


Throughout the day we are using the products donated to us by our fantastic long term supporter Viridian, which massively helps to keep all our brilliant primate friends at the Monkey Sanctuary healthy and happy!


As a small charity we rely heavily on donations given to us from kind hearted people and incredible organisations like Viridian. We cannot thank Viridian enough for everything that they do for us, their donations to the monkeys are fundamental to the health and wellbeing of all of the rescued monkeys.  

As well as looking after the monkeys at the Monkey Sanctuary, Wild Futures campaigns to end the UK primate pet trade. We have been campaigning since 2001 and all and any support helps us to get our voice heard. Please sign our petition against the keeping of primates as pets here

The most commonly kept species of primates kept as pets currently in the UK are marmosets, and until very recently we have not had the facilities at the Monkey Sanctuary to rescue any. But earlier this year we completed phase one of our mission marmoset and were able to rescue Coco and Kiwi and later Jerry which was very exciting.

We are currently building our marmoset mansion and the three of them will move permanently into this as soon as it’s finished, making way for more marmosets to be rescued. We desperately need help to raise money to finish the first marmoset mansion and to build a second, which would enable us to give more marmosets a forever home and give them the care they so desperately need. If you are able to donate and change the lives of more of these little monkeys in desperate need please go to


Thank you so much for your invaluable help. 


TAGS: Charity Supportcharity, Wildlife Charity, Charity Support


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