May Monkey Rescue at The Monkey Sanctuary

The Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary based in Cornwall, has once again come to the rescue, offering a home for life to a capuchin monkey named Tam, during the May bank holiday weekend.

The Monkey Sanctuary received a call a few weeks ago from Tam’s owners who decided that he would be better placed within a Sanctuary, with monkeys of his own kind.

Tam, a black capped capuchin, is 16 years old.  He was taken from his family, along with his brother, at just a few months old and kept as a pet.  After five years, Tam lost his brother in a fight, and Tam has been alone ever since.

Tam arrived at The Monkey Sanctuary over the bank holiday weekend and is now in quarantine.  He will be integrated with other monkeys at the Sanctuary once the quarantine period is over.

Every rescued monkey must undergo a full veterinary check before their arrival at the Sanctuary.   Tam’s vet check showed signs of second degree frostbite on his fingers.  The frostbite is due to Tam going outside in the cold – he did have a heated indoor cage but it was only small.  X-rays also indicated a possible problem with one of his lungs – the Sanctuary is currently waiting for test results to confirm the full extent of the problem.  Tam is skinny and lacks good muscle development.  It is likely that this is due to the cold and lack of exercise.

Fortunately, The Monkey Sanctuary has spacious and wild enclosures to keep the monkeys’ lives enriched.  Each enclosure has an indoor “room” attached, heated to at least 18 degrees Celsius.  In the wild, monkeys would be used to much warmer climes than the UK, and so appropriate temperature control is important.

Capuchin monkeys can live for over 40 years, and it costs around £6,000 to care for each monkey per annum. Thanks to a local supporter, Wild Futures was able to secure the necessary funding in order to take in Tam and provide him with the care he needs for his first year.

Rachel Hevesi, Director of Wild Futures, stated:  “We are pleased to provide a home for Tam.  We hope that his frostbite heals over the next few weeks and we look forward to integrating him with the other monkeys so he can feel part of a family again.  Monkeys naturally live in large groups in the wild, something that many pet monkeys are deprived of.  Although most rescued monkeys can never be returned to the wild, we aim to give them as “wild a life” as possible at our Sanctuary.  Tam now has a second chance at life but without the help of our valued donors, this would not be possible, and so we are very grateful for their support.”

Although a monkey is a wild animal and can pose serious threats to human safety and health, it is still legal to have a monkey as a pet in the UK.  It is estimated that there are as many as 7,000 privately owned primates in the UK and there are signs that the primate pet trade is on the increase.  The Monkey Sanctuary observes the damage caused by the trade every day.  Of the 37 monkeys residing at the Sanctuary, many of them suffer from physical problems such as dental disease, diabetes and metabolic bone disease.  Also common are abnormal behaviours such as rocking, over grooming and even self harming, all resulting from their lives as pets.

Wild Futures firmly believes that it should not be legal to have a monkey as a pet and continues to campaign to end the trade.

Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary regularly receives requests to take on more monkeys.  The charity is calling out for more support to be able to expand and continue its work.  Many of the monkeys rescued by Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary will live for more than 40 years and require a lot of specialist keeper, medical and veterinary care.  Without funding and donations, this essential work would not be possible.  Wild Futures is appealing to the general public to make a donation via its website or to text RESC13 to 70070 to donate via mobile phone.  Supporters can also request a fundraising pack by emailing