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Monkey World’s new battlefront
FOR more than 20 years, Monkey World has been reaching out to endangered primates around the globe from their Purbeck base.
Now the world-renowned sanctuary is branching out by setting up a new home in the Far East.
Work has started on the Endangered Primate Species Centre (EPSC) on Tien Island in Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam.The centre is to be a joint collaboration between Monkey World, the Pingtung Rescue Centre in Taiwan and Cat Tien National Park.
Plans for the home were first put in place early last year and despite a slight delay, the new home is due to be completed in March 2008.
Lou Matthews, from Monkey World, said: "The new centre will receive confiscated golden-cheeked gibbons, silver langurs, douc langurs and lorises.
"There is an illegal trade in these endangered primates for bush meat and the pet trade."
Monkey World and Pingtung Rescue Centre have already teamed up in rescuing golden-cheeked gibbons from France, Russian, Taiwan, and the UK.
The EPSC will allow primates to be assessed physically and mentally, and receive any necessary medical treatment.
They will also be put into appropriate social groups and then, if deemed fit, be released back into the forests of Cat Tien National Park.
The new centre will be able to house up to 10 pairs of primates at any one time.
There are plans to extend the EPSC in the future, with a scientific research centre and a public education centre touted.
The Purbeck sanctuary has spent many years attempting to disrupt south-east Asia's horrifying illegal trade in rare animals, often covertly gathering information in the animal markets of Ho Chi Minh City in south Vietnam.
At the end of 2005, Monkey World owner Alison Cronin and her late husband Jim, along with their Taiwanese partners, signed a "memorandum of intent" with the Vietnamese government to build the country's first government-backed rescue centre.