Looe Monkey Sanctuary's appeal after flooding
A MONKEY sanctuary which cares for sick and injured primates caught up in the UK pet trade is appealing for help after being devastated by flooding.
The sanctuary and tourist attraction near Looe suffered thousands of pounds worth of damage after heavy rain flooded the main building, including the education centre, and a number of trees were felled.
Devastation caused by the weather in November and December compounded a sad year for the sanctuary and its workers after a washout summer resulted in a downturn in visitor numbers.
Staff are also still coming to terms with the loss of Pepper, a 10-month-old capuchin, who died after contracting tetanus which experts believe may have been linked to the floods.
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Claire Turnbull, education officer at Looe Monkey Sanctuary, said a winter appeal had been launched in an attempt to raise cash for the sanctuary and its charitable owner, Wild Futures.
"There were the storms in November, which was a period of really bad weather," she said.
"During all the bad weather we sadly lost our youngest monkey, which was a really big shock to us all. That was really tragic and horrible as well, all around the same time as the storms."
Miss Turnbull said staff are trying to maintain morale and are hoping 2013 brings a change in fortunes.
"We've had fantastic support, particularly after the flooding," she said.
"It's really lifted our spirits because it has been very difficult.
"We're hoping (next year) doesn't get any worse."