Friday, October 03, 2008

Home Needed For Cambridge Chimps

tubmanThe race is on to help two chimps who were made homeless when a wildlife park closed down.

A Cambridge primate rescue charity has stepped in to help the chimps, Joey and Tubman.

The pair have been star attractions at Mole Hall Wildlife Park in Widdlington for 25 years - but the chimps now need to be rehomed because one of the park's owners was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Fundraisers from Cambridge-based Mona UK offered the animals a place at its affiliated sanctuary in northern Spain after no other home could be found for them.

But before the chimps can be moved from Cambridge to Spain, £150,000 needs to be raised.

A further £13,000 also needs to be found by Christmas before their current keeper at the wildlife park in Widdlington is made redundant.

The money will be used to charter a plane from Cambridge airport to take them to their new home.

Lorraine Docherty, director of the charity, said: "Options had run out for these poor boys, so we are glad that we can offer Joey and Tubman a place at our sanctuary.

"However, we urgently need the funds to make it happen within the next few months."

Dr Docherty says another £5,000 will be needed to make changes to an existing enclosure at the sanctuary to meet their needs and then a further £10,000 per year to keep them in food and lodgings for the rest of their lives, which is expected to be around 10 years.

John Doe, the curator of Mole Hall, said: "I am sad to see Joey and Tubman go but I know that they will well cared for at Mona's sanctuary in Spain."

Dr Docherty said: "It is a lot of money, but it will help to look after these guys for the rest of their lives.

"We do hope local people will support the campaign to raise the money as best they can after the loss of such a popular park."

The popular Mole Hall Wildlife Park was closed for good on September 16 after owner Douglas Johnstone announced the lung cancer he had been battling had spread.

Mr Johnstone's mother and father opened the park in 1963 and Joey and Tubman were considered two of the star attractions.

For more information on the campaign to raise the money to help move the pair, visit

Story here.

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