Chimps find a Welsh home

PUBLISHED: 18:06 10 October 2008 | UPDATED: 14:09 10 May 2010

Tubman

Tubman

ELDERLY chimps Joey and Tubman, who were made homeless when Mole Hall Wildlife Park closed, will start a new life in Wales. The decision to move the chimpanzees to a sanctuary in the Swansea Valley rather than northern Spain was made on medical grounds sa

ELDERLY chimps Joey and Tubman, who were made homeless when Mole Hall Wildlife Park closed, will start a new life in Wales.

The decision to move the chimpanzees to a sanctuary in the Swansea Valley rather than northern Spain was made on medical grounds said owners.

The Johnstone family decided to sell Mole Hall in Widdington when Douglas Johnstone was diagnosed with cancer.

A spokesman for the family said: "Joey and Tubman's welfare is our primary concern.

"We have been advised by a veterinary expert that any such move should preferably be within the UK to avoid international travel. It is also strongly advised that the chimps' keeper accompanies them on the journey and stays with them for a period after their arrival to reassure them during the transition.

"We would like to thank everyone from Mona-UK and Spain for all their help regarding the re-homing of Joey and Tubman. Due to their publicity campaign a UK home has now been found for the chimps."

The chips will remain together in a purpose-built, heated enclosure at the Cefn-yr-Erw Primate Sanctuary.

However, primate charity Mona-UK has expressed disappointment with the decision not to move them to Spain.

Director Lorraine Docherty said: "Many of us feel betrayed by the Johnstone family since they had already agreed a month ago, with the full support of the staff at Mole Hall, that the chimps would be retired to the Mona Foundation sanctuary in Spain.

"I have personally worked with Joey and Tubman for over five years to improve their living conditions and have a great relationship with the staff. It is therefore very unfortunate that the family has gone behind our backs and given the go-ahead for the chimps to go to Wales.

"We only want what is best for the chimps and hope that Joey and Tubman will be well cared for and happy there."

For information about Joey and Tubman's new home visit www.cefn-yr-erw.co.uk


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