Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Wednesday, January 27, 1999 Published at 19:12 GMT


Abused chimp's new life

Trudy the chimp: Picture from Monkey World

Trudy, the chimp at the centre of the Mary Chipperfield animal cruelty case, is enjoying a new life at a sanctuary for abused animals, unaware of the legal wrangle over her future.

The world famous circus trainer has been convicted of kicking and beating the animal, which was made to sleep in a tiny box.

The 18-month-old was seized by police from the Chipperfield's farm in Hampshire and taken to Monkey World, near Wareham, Dorset, in April last year.

But Chipperfield is applying to take the animal back.

Trudy now has space to run and play in, and a large indoor living area.

She spends her time as part of a family of chimps, which adopted her shortly after she arrived.

Family life

Jim Cronin, 46, who runs the 40-acre sanctuary with his wife Alison, said: "In her mind, Trudy now has a mother, brothers, sisters and aunts and uncles - just like she would in the wild.

"She has two acres to live in and an indoor house seven metres high and 20m long. It is wonderful for her. She is the centre of attention."

The new family life is a far cry from the conditions at her former home, described in court as a climate of "fear and despair" by one expert in primates.

"It's a revelation for Trudy. When she first came here she had almost no chimp-like behaviour," said Mr Cronin, who has worked with private zoo owner John Aspinall.

'Chance to be a chimp'

"When abused chimps are back with a group of their own the change that comes over them is quite remarkable. That's what has happened with Trudy.

"She has got the chance to be a chimp and not the animal we saw who was beaten, kicked, terrified and made to sleep on her own."

A decision on Trudy's future will be made at the same time as Cawley - and her husband Roger - are sentenced on 9 April.

Monkey World gives new homes to primates which have been abused, seized by Customs and Excise officials, or were being kept as illegal pets.

The sanctuary - which is open to the public - has 130 primates, including chimps, orang-utans, gibbons and lemurs.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland

Relevant Stories

27 Jan 99 | UK
Animal performances a dying breed

27 Jan 99 | UK
Circus trainer guilty of cruelty

27 Jan 99 | UK
Mary Chipperfield and a ring of circus names

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online