My visit to monkey world last year was, as usual, the highlight of the season, here I am chatting to Jeremy and his lovely daughter, whom I have had the pleasure of knowing for all of her lifetime and a lot of his! The sunset photograph above, reminds me that Jim Cronin, who`s original idea, Monkey world was, Is no longer with us, and that my next attendance at Monkey World will be for his memorial service! So sad, so very, very sad, such a gifted and talented man gone!
I first met Jim when, as young men, Jeremy and he came into my office to bounce a few very entheusiastic ideas off me, Monkey World was but a twinkle in their minds, Jeremy I already knew from our friendship, when he worked for a famous recording stars manager, who had his own private zoo in Weybrige , jeremy was the zoo manager, head keeper, animal behaviourist and keeper of over a hundred animals including Horace a beautiful siberian tiger , a selection of primates among which was "winny" (winstone) a one eyed gorilla male of three and of course a tiny Amy who (Amy was his orang-u-tan, who now grown up, resides permanently at monkey world as the matriarch of all she surveys) neglected by her mother, Jeremy had saved her life and taken her under his wing.
Jim explained his thoughts to both myself and the marketing manager Jo and we sat in stunned silence, at such an amazing idea and concept. Rescuing wild animals worldwide and bringing them to the UK to form their own self regulated family groups, which was also to include groups of adult male chimpanzees living successfully together, a world first! he really thought out of the box.
All this of course could not have been successful without the strong and quiet backup and particular expertese of Jeremy in the field of Ape management and behaviour. Jeremy to my mind, the greatest Ape manager in the world today, actually thinks like an Ape! in fact I first set eyes upon him while he was Brachiating close behind a male Orang, who having "nipped" him was trying to escape his wrath by screaming and swinging at speed around the cage with jeremy closing in hot persuit. Jeremy was indeed the Alpha mail of this particular group of animals. A real character, himself and indeed like myself and all the staff or Monkey World will miss Jim immensly. Not to mention Alison his lovely wife who intends to continue with Monkey world and achieve the longterm goals envisaged by Jim,
To Alison, may I wish my hearfelt condolences to you at this sad, sad time!