I am sad.
I have only just heard that Jim Cronin MBE died a couple of weeks ago in his home New York after losing a battle with liver cancer.
20yrs ago Jim and and his beloved wife Alison opened Monkey World in Dorset here in the UK on an abandoned pig farm.
Their first monkey was chimpanzee Charlie, who has become the epitome of Monkey World's ethos and Jim's devotion to his animals. Charlie was a beach chimp who, when rescued, was hooked on drugs, suffered terrible injuries (including a serious head injury and having all his teeth but three removed) and didn't know how to behave like a chimp.
For 20yrs Jim and Alison have travelled the world, rescuing apes from horrific conditions and giving them homes at Monkey World. They have battled against bureaucracy and highlighted the evils of the international live animal trade.Wherever possible they have brought the animals to a world of peace and caring, where they all learn to be apes again. Chimps, Orangs, Woolly monkeys, Ugly monkeys, Lemurs, Capuchins - you name it. Watching that process on the TV programme 'Monkey Business' was an honour.
Jim - you are and always will be a King amongst men and will never be forgotten. And I will be adding another name to my Race For Life - Jim Cronin.