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A gift of old curtains and disposable medical supplies from Dorset HealthCare has been welcomed by primates large and small at Monkey World.
The Trust contacted the world-famous rescue centre in response to an appeal for disused blankets, pillow cases, towels and sheets, which are hung in the enclosures and used by the chimpanzees to build nests.
With staff gratefully accepting the offer, more than 400 curtains that were either old or damaged were collected from Blandford and Weymouth community hospitals, as well as the Yeatman Hospital in Sherborne.
These were then delivered to the sanctuary, near Wareham, by Trust Waste Manager Tim Pike and his team – and came in very useful during the recent spell of freezing cold weather.
Tim said: “We are constantly striving towards a more cost-effective recycling and waste management service, and looking at new and innovative ways we can dispose of items we can no longer use. This initiative is a shining example.
“By making these donations, we are not only reducing waste going to landfill or incineration and the associated costs, but also helping support a local wildlife charity which is world renowned for the work it does.”
And the special delivery didn’t just consist of curtains – disposable medical supplies including cotton wool, syringes, sutures and scalpels were also donated.
These are used to stock the centre’s purpose-built onsite hospital, which houses an operating theatre, prep area and small lab facility, where tests, x-rays and surgical procedures can be carried out on the park’s rescued primates.
Although these are only considered for donation when they are out of date, they can still be used on primates without causing harm.
Set up in August 1987 by the late Jim Cronin, Monkey World works with foreign governments to stop the illegal smuggling of wild primates, and is home to more than 250 rescued monkeys and 21 different species of ape.
Charlie Crowther works at the centre, and helped organise the logistics around the donation.
She said: “We are really grateful to Dorset HealthCare for recycling their curtains and giving them to us. They are the ideal size for our larger primates to wrap around themselves and keep them extra cosy. They came in very handy during the recent cold snap we had.
“Our staff also make them into hammocks for the primates to hide food in and play with - perfect entertainment for those days when they don’t want to venture out of their heated playrooms.”
If you want to help Monkey World by donating towels, sheets or blankets, or visit the centre to see them being put to good use, please visit www.monkeyworld.org.