Monkey Sanctuary // Looe

Monkey Sanctuary - Looe
Monkey Sanctuary

Home to a social colony of woolly monkeys and a small group of rescued capuchin monkeys, provides advice and support for primate rescue centres around the world

The Monkey Sanctuary Trust is an environmental charity dedicated to promoting the welfare, conservation and survival of primates, particularly woolly monkeys. It aims to end the primate trade and abuse of primates in captivity and strives to conserve natural habitats through education and sustainable living. It also encourages the rehabilitation of primates to natural habitats.

It is home to a social colony of woolly monkeys and a small group of rescued capuchin monkeys, which were formerly pets. The Trust also provides advice and support for primate rescue centres around the world. The woolly monkeys are third and fourth generation descendants of animals rescued in the 60s and 70s after being brought to England as pets. Over the years the monkeys have regained natural social skills and learnt to raise their young, communicate and organise their hierarchy, as they would have done in the wild.

Visitors to the Sanctuary can now gain an insight into the world of the rare lesser horseshoe bat. These bats use the cellar beneath the house, attracted to the warm atmosphere created by the oil boiler. This warmth is particularly important during the summer months when females gather to give birth to their single offspring. The colony has been there for over 20 years. At night the bats emerge and flit between the enclosures. They will venture into any rooms with open doors, particularly the monkey kitchen, where there are lots of fruit flies in the summer.

An on-site gift-shop offers a selection of souvenirs and educational gifts. Keepers past and present have designed most of the artwork and educational material. The sanctuary, near Looe, is open from early April until late September, from Sunday to Thursday each week. There are facilities for the disabled and free parking.