My involvement with the Primate Trust India, Goa.
I found this charity on the internet and volunteered there for a month in 2016. I have visited and helped them again several times since then. Although the monkeys are well cared for by the English lady in charge (who funds it from her own pocket in the main) and her local staff, they are very much in need of more space and funds. Many of the injured and baby animals that are rescued are in need of 24 hour care, and because the youngest baby monkeys need to be with a human mother substitute around the clock, volunteers are often asked to take on this role as needed.
What is The Primate Trust India?
The PTI is a charity registered in India and the UK. It was set up by Jo and John Hicks in 2005, who were the founders of International Animal Rescue.
They have worked and campaigned for animal rights since the ‘70s, fighting against the fur trade, circuses with animals, vivisection, hunting etc. with their original organisation called Animal Activists. John died in India in 2015.
What does The Primate Trust India do?
The PTI provides long-term care for orphaned, abused and injured monkeys – macaques and langurs being the local species.
Langurs are forest monkeys, and due to rapidly increasing deforestation and urbanisation in Goa, are in need of rescue because of the increase in traffic, dogs and electricity lines etc. The 11 resident langurs are all orphans, rescued after the death or severe injury of their mothers.
The macaques are taken illegally from the wild as small babies and then sold for begging or the “pet” trade. Their mothers will have been killed. Those that are kept as “pets” are either chained or kept in a cage, often in appalling conditions. Others are on the streets, permanently on a chain, to amuse the tourists for a few rupees. Many of the macaques at PTI were confiscated from the Goan tourist beach resorts by John and Jo. Many are physically or mentally permanently damaged, and are given all the care needed to recover, and enjoy life. Many had never, since capture, even met another monkey. So whenever possible, they find them a friend amongst the rescues.
Many people think that once these monkeys are well again and have reached adulthood, they should be released back into the wild. Unfortunately, this is just not a viable option.
None of these monkeys will ever be able to be returned fully to the wild. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, resident wild monkeys would not tolerate this -no monkey troop will allow the invasion of strangers into its territory or group. The PTI monkeys have had so little input or training from their mothers or troop, that they have no skills for surviving in the wild, ranging from finding food to a proper respect and interaction with humans or other monkeys. Finally, the release of long term captive monkeys into the wild has never successfully been recorded.
At present, the monkeys are kept in small groups in pens in the garden. Those that are fit enough, physically and mentally, are walked daily by staff or volunteers so the monkeys can climb trees and swim in the pool! But, this facility was only ever meant to be a temporary measure, as land for a purpose built rescue/education and care facility for monkeys was originally promised to the charity, but has never been forthcoming.
What I aim to achieve with this campaign…
We aim to raise enough money to provide bigger and better enclosures for our resident rescues, and to have enough space to continue to help other monkeys in need of rescuing.
Larger pens would mean they:
· have trees to climb
· have more space to play and forage
· would live a much more natural life
With more space, it is hoped many of the small groups we now have can be integrated, and able to exist in larger groups.
However, some of the rescue monkeys at PTI are so severely traumatized by their past experiences, they are not able to mix safely with other monkeys, and will always need individual care.
We also would like to have a facility where visitors can come and be educated about monkeys and the abuse they suffer. Both tourists and locals would be able to visit, to learn why they should not support the monkey begging trade, nor try and keep a pet monkey themselves.
Many tourists do not understand the consequences of their actions when they pose with monkeys for photos. Many local people have no tolerance or compassion towards monkeys, but to meet and greet an individual monkey, is a great opportunity for a change of heart.
What needs to be done and how will the money be spent?
Initially, we need to raise enough money for the capital expenditure. That is:
§ purchase of the land
§ consultants’ fees (architects, surveyors, lawyers etc)
§ building materials
§ connection of services (electricity, water, drainage)
§ building of a road for access
We aim to raise this money in stages, and obviously the purchase of the land will take priority, once a suitable location has been found.
Our sincerest thanks
If we could raise the money to create this monkey paradise, not only would we be helping these rescued monkeys and others like them to live out the rest of their lives in as natural environment as possible, but we would be able to teach people to have more respect and compassion for the animals that we share the planet with.
If you could make a donation and share this campaign, we will be forever grateful for your support. We will show our appreciation by posting regular updates on the progress of this campaign. On behalf of the monkeys rescued so far, and those yet to come, we give you a Great Big Thank You!
DonationsSee top donations
- Mel Halley
- shane cheetham
Kennington, South East England, United Kingdom
THE PRIMATE TRUST
Donations eligible for Gift Aid.