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Monkeying Around with a Private English Tutor

August 1, 2013
private english tutor stoke on trent

Thoughts From The Corner

Even this private tutor has time off occasionally. 🙂 This post continues my mini-series of places of interest in my area by looking at 140 Barbary macaque monkeys that I manage to sneak off and photograph from time to time.

Living in the middle of England, I am privy to both beautiful scenery and an area that has woven itself into the historical fabric of  Britain. My last post took a brief look at Trentham Hall; once the home of the Duke of Sutherland, one of U.K.’s wealthiest members of the aristocracy during the Victorian and Edwardian periods.

60 acres of the Trentham estate is now home to these beautiful monkeys. These macaques are the same as those found on Gibraltar.

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I love the photo above. Just how chilled out, cool and relaxed is that! Don’t you wish you take a tip out of his book?

I have a problem with zoos – cages! My heart always goes out to the poor captives. Trentham Monkey Forest is a little different. The whole 60 acres is surrounded by fencing but there are no cages within that area. There is a path that meanders amongst the woodland and stream. The path is for humans and the rest of the space is for the monkeys. Of course, they are still captives but this seems a kind of ‘halfway house’. The Monkey Forest offers much in the way of education and even has a classroom for schools to use.

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This little guy looks really sad to be chained in but the picture is a little deceptive. The chain is slung between two wooden posts. It is there to keep the humans on the path. The monkeys are free to walk where ever they want, path and all.

The Barbary macaque species were upgraded from vulnerable to endangered on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature & Natural Resources) Red List of Threatened Species on Monday 6th October 2008. Thirty years ago it is estimated that there were 23,000 in the wild, today there are less than 10,000. Trentham and its three sister monkey forests in  France and Germany have released 600 back to the Atlas Mountains, their natural home.

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Always born during the night, it is an absolute pleasure to be able to photograph one that is less than one day old.

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Within three months the babies are extremely active and one of the favoured methods of parental control is to restrain the youngster by holding its leg.

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It is not long before the little ones start to notice their surroundings. I have always thought that at this stage they look more like chimpanzees than macaques.

"private sociology tutoring stoke on trent"

A common sight is the youngster clinging on underneath. Note that macaques do not have tails.

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After four or five months they become a real handful for their parents as they are able to start to explore. However, they are looked after by other troop members, not just their biological parents.

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These two may not be its natural parents.

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Looking directly into their eyes is seen as threatening behaviour but as I am hiding behind the camera this inquisitive character does not seem too intimidated.

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And so it is that there must always be a set of rules. This private tutor once sat down there and was told off by the guide for pouring a cup of coffee from my thermos – yes, I should have known better!

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14 Comments
  1. These are beautiful photos. I must go back to Trentham and see for myself. I’ve seen those on Gibraltar but they seemed rather miserable and scraggy in comparison with these or perhaps it was just the sun. 🙂 Thank you, really enjoyed reading this.

    • Thanks for your great comment.

      I don’t think it was the sun. I have heard others comment on the condition of the ones on Gibraltar. I was there last year but chose to go dolphin watching instead of to the top of the hill – why would I want to see scraggy ones when I can see the pampered ones a Trentham?

      The monkeys literally walk in front of you so getting good photos is not that difficult – providing one remembers to take the lens cap off. 🙂

    • P.S. Happy Yorkshire Day

  2. Great pictures. It is nice to see animals on display without the normally small confines they get at a zoo… or heaven forbid, a circus. I can’t help but laugh at rule #2, though…”Touching monkeys is strictly prohibited!” Not sure if the slang is the same in England, but here in America, that statement would draw a snicker or two….

    • We’re not quite as naughty as you guys over the pond. However, ‘touching up’ a monkey would be very different! 🙂

      Thanks for the positive comment, much appreciated.

  3. What wonderful creatures and how beautifully you captured their beauty! Great job!

  4. Animals can be so hard to photograph well, great photos! We missed most of England on our recent trip, and last time we only made it to Manchester (long story), I’d love to explore more of England’s forests and estates.

    • Ah, sunny Manchester. I’d rather be with the monkeys. 🙂

      Hope you get back here, we do have so much.

      Thanks for the positive vibes.

  5. Billie permalink

    Brilliant once more! I’ve recently become very attracted to monkey behaviour (of the real monkeys, not those running around in human clothes), and they are so beautiful. Amazing we only differ a couple of genes!

    Yes, I hate cages too in zoos (or anywhere where animals are kept). That is why I like Dublin Zoo so much, only the birds and reptiles are in cages, for obvious reasons, and the rest of the animals are behind fencing. It’s no life for animals otherwise.

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