Jeremy Keeling first met Amy, an orang-utan abandoned by his mother, when he was looking after the private menagerie of music impresario Gordon Mills. A friendship was forged that would become the defining relationship of both their lives. One day, when Jeremy was driving along with one-year-old Amy sitting beside him in the passenger seat, he fell asleep at the wheel and caused a horrific car crash. The first policeman on the scene crawled into the wreckage where he was staggered to see a hairy, non-human hand cradling Jeremy’s head amid the glass and twisted metal: having been saved by Jeremy, Amy now refused to let him go. For Jeremy, it was to be a long convalescence, but he was able to repay his debt to Amy when he joined forces with Jim Cronin, a tough-talking primate-lover from the Bronx, who shared his vision of creating a sanctuary for abused and abandoned monkeys. Pooling their knowledge, passion and meagre resources, the two men took on a derelict pig farm in Dorset and, over the next twenty years, slowly transformed it into a 65-acre, cage-less sanctuary for beleaguered primates, rescued from poachers, photographers and scientists on daring raids. Monkey World is now internationally famous and attracts some 800,000 visitors a year.
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