New house for baby monkey step closer

Pam Mansfield and her dog Gypsy with a delivery of  hardcore for the foundations of a new monkey house cage at the Exotic Pet Refuge in Deeping St James. SG090715-302TW ANL-150907-143514001
Pam Mansfield and her dog Gypsy with a delivery of hardcore for the foundations of a new monkey house cage at the Exotic Pet Refuge in Deeping St James. SG090715-302TW ANL-150907-143514001
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“Without people like you we wouldn’t exist.” This is the message from volunteers at the Exotic Pet Refuge after a surprise delivery helped them get one step closer to finishing a new monkey house.

The Free Press’s sister paper, the Spalding Guardian, appealed last week for volunteers to help a charity in Deeping St James meet the funding deadline set by the Jean Sainsbury Animal Welfare Trust for completion of the project.

Stephie, the baby spider monkey, urgently needs help to get a new monkey house completed before the funding deadline. ANL-150707-175734001

Stephie, the baby spider monkey, urgently needs help to get a new monkey house completed before the funding deadline. ANL-150707-175734001

With only weeks to go, readers were especially motivated by the story of a hand reared baby spider monkey Stephie whose blind mum is having to live in a dilapidated monkey house until she can be moved into the new one.

Copies of the Guardian had only just gone on sale when we received a call from the refuge saying 10 tons of hardcore had been delivered free of charge by the Cemex Manor Pit Quarry in Baston, which would enable the cage currently around the old new monkey house to be moved.

Pam Mansfield, owner of the refuge, said: “We are so grateful to them. It was such a surprise and we couldn’t believe it when they said there was no charge.

“They have also raised £700 for us, which is brilliant. Without people like them we wouldn’t exist.”

Steve Coles, trainee manager at Manor Pit Quarry, said they had been delighted to help out: “We run several ‘lend a hand’ schemes and the pet refuge is our local charity so we were delighted to help in their hour of need.”

Offers of help did not stop there, with a carpenter getting in touch and someone offering to work on the aviaries. However, with the refuge having its open day on Sunday there are plenty of jobs for volunteers.

Pam said: “We still need people to help us finish the monkey house and with our day-to-day survival.

“Amazon at Peterborough recently donated £1,000 and at the weekend we did a fundraiser at Springfields in Spalding which raised £350. This will keep us going for another week.”

Anyone wishing to help with finishing the monkey house can contact the Exotic Pet Refuge by calling 01778 345923 or emailing exoticpetrefuge@aol.com.

Sunday’s open day at the refuge in Station Road is from 10am to 5pm. Visitors will be able to view the work already achieved by volunteers and see more than 300 animals, birds and reptiles.