Monkey World Review | 3 Go Wild at Monkey World
Monkeying Around in Dorset. Chimps, Weddings and Nick Clegg.
Tarzan had Cheetah, Keith Harris (R.I.P) had ‘Cuddles’, PG Tips had ‘Right said Fred’, Michael Jackson had Bubbles and Justin Bieber had the one he cruelly forgot about at Customs. We had ‘Monkey Dave’.
However, Monkey Dave – or Dave to his friends – has been on a bit of a losing streak recently. Duke is getting older and is now firmly fixated with anything Fire/Policeman/Buzz-related so he doesn’t get as many outings as he used to do (all very Toy Storyish, isn’t it…)
So when the kind people at the RSPCA invited us to Monkey World for the day to find out more about our primate cousins and the excellent work they do in rehousing and rehabilitating, I thought why not use it as a chance to reignite Duke’s interest in Dave a bit.
When I told ‘Er Indoors we had been invited along, the conversation went something like this:
EI’ “You do realise when they rehouse monkeys they don’t let you bring them home. So we might face some tears before bedtime and agonised begging.”
Me “No Duke will be fine. He’ll understand that they can’t come back with us.”
EI ” It’s not him I’m worried about, it’s you”.
(Cheek of it, but in all fairness she is right…)
Duke has only seen monkeys close up at London Zoo, where we went when all my friends were turning 40 last year and was pretty enamoured, so I was quite looking forward to seeing his face when we got there. When I found out that our destination is set in 65 acres I tried to explain to him how many monkeys we were going to see. Duke couldn’t quite wrap his curly nit haven of a head around it (nor me, imagining the banana bill alone for those fellas, jeez!)
This is how we got on.
Sadly we discovered they have a strict but wholly understandable ‘No holding’ rule with all the locals. Think about it; some of the boys and girls there have been rescued from horrific torture after being stolen by poachers and used in scientific experiments or as photographers or circus props. To protect them from close-ups with the average rabidly ‘affectionate’ child poking and prodding them is pretty fair enough (but it doesn’t stop you wanting to have a huggathon, especially when you see the baby ones).
They also have a “No Scooter” rule that we found out at the gates – so be warned; you may have to return it back to the car to pack it away again. Fortunately, the lovely lady at the counter saw our issue and kindly offered to mind it for a couple of hours (however considering how much of a walk it is for little legs around the 65 acres a scooter would have come in handy!).
Monkey World is recognised as experts in primate rehabilitation and health. They bring in experts such as paediatricians, dentists, nose and throat surgeons, ophthalmic specialists and gynaecologists (imagine having that on your business card ‘Monkey Gynaecologist’; would certainly raise a few questions wouldn’t it?).
It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realise the costs of this entire expert and loving care does not come cheap. So Monkey World relies heavily upon donations and funds received from the adoption scheme. 100% of which goes back into monkey welfare, which you can find out more about here >
Even so, the day itself wasn’t that bad at an entrance cost of £11 per adult, under 3’s free and £1.65 for an ice-cream.
The cafe did attract long queues, so do what most people seem to do and bring a picnic as there are plenty of beautiful places to take a break. And you will need a break regularly as Monkey World is massive. Luckily, there are also tonnes of play places for the little ones who have deemed it necessary to become monkeys themselves to have a climb and run around.
There were a couple of things I didn’t expect to see. A wedding; apparently you can get married there so the smartly dressed guests mingled around looking mildly amused as scores of people wandered through their ‘enclosed’ space with buggies looking for chimp action.
The other sight was coming face to face with Nick Clegg. Yes, that Nick Clegg, who was there with his sons just wandering around enjoying the Bank Holiday on his own. I did feel a bit sorry for him as people did seem to gawp more at him than they did when the saw a baby chimp fall of his mum’s back.
I would definitely recommend Monkey World as a place to visit if you have active little chimps of your own, or even if you are a grumpy old Gorilla like me. It’s really nice to see them play and explore up close and know that they are safe and looked after by people who are trained experts in monkey-cuddling and other such cool jobs.
You can’t take a monkey home; that is a massive shame. But you can make sure that your own pet is well looked after, as the nice people at the RSPCA advise. If you don’t have a pet can I suggest adopting one – You get all the fun and love and don’t have to clean up any of the mess. Could you do this with a toddler, hmm?
As a final note, poor old Monkey Dave is still not getting any attention so in that we failed, but Duke is now convinced he is actually a chimp. Duke won’t stop climbing and asking when we can go back, so the day out must have been a success.
Have you been to Monkey World and actually seen lots of monkeys, or did your little monkeys want to spend most of the day playing in climbing zones like ours?