Time to monkey around for Social Summer!
The Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary is a hidden gem situated right here in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It’s a place for those apes, monkeys and many other species in need of a forever home when all other possibilities have been exhausted. A place for the rescues to live out their days with the love, care and dignity they deserve.
The Sanctuary is run by dedicated husband and wife team Jan and Graham Garen. The site was never intended to be a sanctuary, former teacher Jan and engineer Graham ran a residential education centre incorporating a b&b and restaurant at the farm. All this changed however when the couple read of a local wildlife park Penscynor that was to close. The idea of running a sanctuary wasn’t even on the horizon but things changed when they heard a group of seven chimpanzees would be shot if a new home couldn’t be found, they knew they had to step in and it was all systems go working against the clock to get the chimps to their new home, even the army got involved helping to transport enclosures.
They only intended to offer a home to the seven chimps but within weeks they received a call asking if they could take two more chimps from a bankrupt zoo in Ireland, and so it began. All this happened back in 1998 so fast forward now twenty years and WAMS has gone from strength to strength still home to a group of ten chimpanzees including brothers Twmi & Fergus from the original group from Penscynor.
The residents have many varied backgrounds including the entertainment industry, laboratories, the illegal pet trade and run down zoos often coming from the most appalling conditions. The Sanctuary is now home to chimps, baboons, macaques, marmosets, raccoons, capuchins, wolfdogs and many others from all over the world, but they are all loved and equally important members of this extended family. There are information boards by the enclosures where you can learn more about the background of the residents but also their traits and often funny and quirky personalities.
Our dedicated team of caregivers and the residents love the interaction when people visit the sanctuary, many building up quite a following on our social media sites. WAMS is a 100% non profit organisation relying entirely on public donations from entrance fees, keeper for a day experiences, adoptions and various fundraising events and activities. There is also a fantastic charity shop inside and light snacks and drinks are available. Picnics are welcomed with plenty of tables and seating around the grounds.
You can visit WAMS safe in the knowledge that every penny you spend goes straight towards the care of the residents and the continuing and much needed rescue work. We also have a very famous Patron in actress and singer Sheridan Smith who has been a wonderful supporter of the sanctuary over the years and paid us a visit back in April to catch up with all her friends.
We hope to see some of you over the summer holidays and during #socialsummer2018.