GAP is an International movement that aims to defend the rights of the
our closest relatives in animal kingdom.
Joey and Tubman, the popular old gentlemen from Mole Hall Wildlife Park started their life here at the Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary on Wednesday 18th March 2009. Both chimps were caught in the wild and who knows what horrors they endured during their capture back in the 1960s.
Joey was born in Sierra Leone around January 1967 and taken to somewhere in the north by a Keith McGregor in 1968. In January 1986 he was transferred to Mole Hall. Tubman is said to have been born in Liberia and apparently belonged to the Royal Family there. He was first logged in January 1967 and taken to the Netherlands in 1968. This is where he came to the attention of Mrs Johnstone of Mole Hall. She told us that she rescued him from a fate in a laboratory and brought him to Mole Hall in 1969 where he stayed until January 1984 when he moved to join Joey with Keith McGregor.
In January 1986 both Joey and Tubman moved to Mole Hall and there they stayed for twenty-
Mole Hall closed at the end of September 2008 and plans were being made for the chimps’ future, which seemed grim for as usual no Zoo would help them and give them a new home. A home in Spain seemed possible but a highly respected International Vet advised against this course of action due to the age of the chimps and their lifestyle.
This is when the Johnstone family discovered our Sanctuary and approached us. We travelled up to Mole Hall to meet the two characters and immediately decided that nothing would stop them coming here, which they did on March 19th 2009.
A bowl each of fruit awaited them in their bedrooms and both tucked in immediately. They like iceberg lettuce, bananas, pears and Tubman loves grapes. Tubman enjoys boiled eggs which seemed to be a new experience for him as he learned to peel them – that did not take much practice! Sadly Joey died just over a year later from chronic heart disease after years of bad diet and inactivity.
In November 2010 Tubman had a new friend, Bimbo from the closed Lubeck Zoo in Germany and they formed a solid friendship based on similar character traits like throwing bark at visitors, clapping and throwing a football around. Tubman is a lovely amiable chimp who enjoys visitors, laughing and running around when he sees them.
He loves music and listening to people singing and dances and rocks on his reel – in tune! Sadly Bimbo died of heart disease and Tubman now has the company of Jason who had also been on his own. Every night they have a warm milky coffee at bed time and Tubman has his favourite treat – a Wagon Wheel or Mini Cheddars!
Jason and Tubman are a happy duo who formed an instant rapport. Both enjoy teasing the visitors and the baboons next door by throwing bark at them and clapping and they have been together now for over 4 years. Tubman is much happier since our vet removed the lump on his face which he had suffered for years at Mole Hall. Now they have a new companion, Toto from Drayton Manor and an extended day room and enclosure. Tub loves the new windows!!