Children from Mark Way School in Andover along with children from five Dorset schools, enjoyed a magical day at Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre thanks to Variety recently.
Some of the monkeys and apes were as curious to see the children as the children were to see them so, despite the heat, the animals came out of their cool shelters so the visitors could see them.
The visiting youngsters stayed cool in the shade and watched as the animals, including squirrel monkeys, ring-tailed lemurs and capuchins enjoyed lollies made from frozen fruit.
The 65 acre ape and monkey sanctuary in Dorset is run by Dr Alison Cronin and her team and is home to 21 species of primates including chimpanzees, orangutans and gibbons.
Many of the animals have been rescued from restrictive and often miserable lives in circuses, as living props for beach photographers as well as many that are unwanted and abandoned pets.
Monkey World aims to give them as natural and enjoyable life as possible in a secure and peaceful habitat where they are looked after by experts, who understand their needs and how to care for them.
Frances Cornelius, Chair of Variety Wessex, who organised the trip, said “Thank you to Alison and the staff at Monkey World for always welcoming everybody and ensuring they all have a fabulous day. I would also like to thank the Variety supporters and volunteer fundraisers without whom these days would not be possible and my volunteer committee members Judy Hiscoke and Avril Owton for overseeing the day and ensuring everything ran smoothly.”
The Mark Way School in Andover is a school for young people with Special Educational Needs aged 11-16 that cater for a range of abilities and Special Educational Needs.