For my name day, yesterday, we’ve been to Monkey Forest in Stoke on Trent. We took the joint ticket and entered to Trentham gardens. I’ll post about the gardens tomorrow.
We’ve been to the Monkey Forest before, a couple of years ago and we had a great time even though it was raining. This time we were lucky and the sun was shining, it was a lovely warm day.
The staff was eager to tell us about the monkeys and they took the time to answer our questions. As last week we saw a documentary about monkeys, we had a few questions.
The monkeys released from the Monkey Forest are monitored in the wild, for research reasons. The macaques form groups of up to 100 individuals and when the group is too big, they split up. So, to have enough monkeys to release in the wild, they let the population to increase and they will form naturally another group. I imagine now the females in heat are removed and let only a few to breed.
All the individuals from the new group will be released into the wild, as their social hierarchy would suffer if they would take only a part of the group. In the group there are 7-8 different families, with different bloodlines.
In the wild there are less than 10,000 monkeys left, this means that they are on the verge of extinction. If nothing changes, by the end on the century there will be no Barbary macaques in the wild. Around 300 babies are taken as pets each year, even thou it’s illegal. To be able to get the babies, the traders will kill the mothers. The work done at the Trentham is very important.