MONKEY around at one of West Dorset’s top animal attractions this summer.

Monkey World Ape and Rescue Centre is a 65-acre ape and monkey sanctuary near Wool.

It was set up in 1987 by Jim Cronin and later run by both him and his wife Alison.

It was originally intended to provide a home for abused primates rescued from unscrupulous Spanish photographers who used them as props.

The attraction is now home to hundreds of rescued and endangered primates, with five species of gibbon, three groups of orangutan and the largest group of chimpanzees outside Africa.

Monkey World assists governments around the world to stop the smuggling of primates from the wild.

At the centre refugees of this illegal trade as well as those that have suffered abuse or neglect are rehabilitated into natural living groups. The most recent arrival is Bengal slow loris who was flown 5,000 miles to his new Dorset home after being confiscated in a drug raid.

The loris, who is no bigger than a bag of sugar, had been living in the Maldives Island capital Male, after he was found in a drugs bust.

Officers housed the monkey for eight months while they scoured the globe looking for a suitable new home. They called the loris, which is believed to be male, Kalo, which means ‘buddy’. After hearing of Kalo’s plight, Dr Cronin, embarked upon a mission to re-house the primate.

Monkey World can be found on the A31 between Bere Regis and Wool and visitors should follow the brown tourist signs.

It is open 10am to 6pm during August. Last entry is one hour before closing. Call 01929 401018.