Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rejected Baby Monkey Gets £30,000 Donation

monkey orphanA baby monkey being reared by hand after he was rejected by his mother at birth has been given a name and £30,000 for his care.

The donation has been raised by ticket sales for the Zoo Thousand and Eight music festival which is being held at Kent's Port Lympne Wild Animal Park.

And the monkey has been nicknamed Baby Ronnie after the musician Mark Ronson who is headlining the event in July.

The cash will pay for the male Diana monkey's care during his early years.

Primate keeper Jamie Robertson said: "He is doing really well and growing massively.

"He is developing at the right sort of stages as if he had been parent-reared."

And he said the money would go towards a new enclosure as well as food and play equipment for the monkey, which currently goes home with zoo keepers every night as it cannot be left on its own.

Baby Ronnie was born on Good Friday and was 66 days old on Sunday.

It is believed his mother, Angie, failed to bond with him after a difficult labour led to a caesarean section having to be carried out.

The Diana monkey is named after the Roman goddess of the moon because of the distinctive white crescent shape on its forehead.

It is one of the most endangered of all the guenons, a type of forest monkey native to West Africa.

The Zoo Thousand and Eight festival from 4 to 6 July will see a range of acts including Dizzee Rascal, Ash, The Hives and Athlete performing across eight stages.

Organisers have said 20,000 revellers are expected each day.

The festival is being held on grassland outside the park, which is run by The Aspinall Foundation, and festival-goers will be able to visit the animal park for a reduced price.

Story here.

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