For 40 years a group of dedicated individuals have been looking after a colony of Amazonian woolly monkeys rescued from the pet trade in the 1960s and 70s. We are now home to woolly monkeys and capuchin monkeys, who have arrived here as a result of the tragic trade that still exists in the keeping of primates as pets. The Monkey Sanctuary recently became a charity but has always been run in a co-operative spirit (and was a co-operative for many years), and about 12 keepers live on site all year round caring for the monkeys. Volunteers from all over the world who are interested in animal welfare, communal living and conservation of the local environment also join us throughout the year, for periods of up to several months. The sanctuary is open to the public for the summer season and this time can be very hectic. Aside from caring for the monkeys, keepers are on hand all day long to explain about the monkeys’ behaviour and how they ended up here at the sanctuary, and the problems for monkeys in the wild and captivity.
During the winter the sanctuary is closed to the public. We spend these months doing essential maintenance or building work, running educational workshops for schools, street collecting and obviously caring round the clock for the monkeys. The Monkey Sanctuary Trust also works to support organisations and projects in South America.
The Trust is also responsible for 12 acres of native woodland on the coast near Looe, Comwall. We aim to encourage native species and habitats, and have a successful wild colony of breeding lesser horseshoe bats which live in our cellar. We try to emphasise to all who visit the importance of sustainable living and conservation.