We have all heard so much recently about the horrors of animal abuse, birds captured from the wild, elephants and monkeys tortured to make them perform, animals and birds imprisoned in cages etc.

But I think we should remind ourselves that it is not ALL bad and sanctuaries such as Monkeyland and Birds of Eden pay testament to that. All our primates and birds are free to roam and forage, to choose their own mates, to be seen or not be seen. Their personal space is never infringed upon, they are not poked, prodded or forced to perform. They live almost as nature intended…wild and free. The only difference is that they do not live in their own lands. Humans had already removed them from that before they arrived, either to be kept as pets, used in experiments or imprisoned in cages for their own amusement. The lucky ones ended up here. Furthermore, when primates and birds come to us, they stay for life. They are never traded or sold, never forced to breed. They are given the best care possible. They even have their own retirement home. Thankfully Monkeyland and Birds of Eden have cast the blueprint for sanctuaries around the world, leading the way to a truer, more natural environment for wildlife that has no other alternative but to be kept in captivity. An unfortunate word but although Monkeyland covers an area of 12 hectares (something like 19 football fields), the primates are still captive. Let us hope that one day humankind gets its act together, protecting natural environments so that some of these animals can return home to be truly free.