Meet The Monkeys
Natural habitat: Red light districts, crack dens, bring and buy sales
Likeliness of public masturbation: High. Macaques are highly sexed and males outnumber females five to one at Rhesus Park.
Interesting fact: Elvis bought 3,000 Sumatran macaques just days before his death, purely because he found their haircuts amusing. Sadly, the great man died before his macaques were delivered and the monkeys ended up with Little Richard instead, condemning them to sexual slavery for the rest of their sad existence.
Profile: Our signature Rhesus Macaques are now regarded as one of the more sinister strains of simians but this reputation is rather unfair.
That they are viewed this way is in no small part down to Charles Darwin, who branded macaques “capricious mendicants” in his seminal work Origin of Species after one of them had stolen his rye and herring sandwich.
Starved of his usual lunch, Darwin had to murder and devour a salamander that had the misfortune to be passing by just moments later. As anyone who has imbibed of a salamander would tell you, this experience was to prove far from enjoyable. Although a brilliant biologist, Darwin was unfortunately a small, petty man and this one incident clouded his judgment of a breed of monkey who, for the most part, remain mischievous but never malevolent.
Spend some time watching the macaques at Rhesus Park and you will find them to be warm, funny and vivacious. Just don’t leave any food within their reach of you will be soon be hurtling expletives in their direction like a certain Mr Darwin.
Natural habitat: Public lavatories, sexual health clinics, auditions for Britain’s Got Talent.
Likeliness of public masturbation: Low. Sodomy is so widespread in the baboon community that they rarely feel the need for self-abuse.
Interesting fact: The hit Clint Eastwood film Every Which Way But Loose was originally filmed with a baboon instead of an orang-utan. The baboon, a charismatic male from San Diego called Captain Claude, turned in one of the finest screen performances ever seen by an animal but studio chiefs ordered the entire film to be re-shot with an orang-utan after several audience members in the test screening were violently sick whenever Claude’s arse flashed up on screen.
Profile: There’s much more to a baboon than a ridiculous behind, although one’s eyes are almost instinctively drawn to the car-crash that is their rear end, no matter how hard one tries to treat them with due respect.
Baboons are actually one of the most intelligent species of monkeys, with their hierarchical system of social government predating Greek democracy by at least 1000 years. If you watch our baboons closely for more than 30 minutes, you should be able to pick out the group’s Prime Minister, Chancellor and Minister For Home Affairs. Identifying the Minister For Foreign Affairs is less of a challenge as he’s usually the one banging on the bars and casting threatening looks towards the neighbouring chimpanzee and gibbon enclosures.
Natural habitat: Darts nights at Alexander Palace, police auctions, Towcaster, frosty family reunions.
Likeliness of public mastubration: High. No capuchins take the monk association too far by remaining celibate. If not in the act of coitus then self abuse is almost inevtiable as the hormones rage.
Interesting fact: Cartoon helper monkey Mojo, who became bloated, ill-tempered and mentally disturbed after falling into the care of Homer Simpson, was based on a real capuchin from Tennessee called Alfred the Great.
Alfred had the misfortune to be assigned to an alcoholic Vietnam War veteran called Tod Douche, whose flirtation with junkieville soon turned into a permanent residence. Cleaning up after Tod soon became so harrowing that Alfred eventually ended up shooting his owner with a colt 45 before turning the gun on himself.
Profile: It is one of the great ironies that Capuchins take their name from a group of monks known as the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. While there is no doubting the minor physical resemblance to the friars, who wear brown robes with large hoods, the two entities are streets apart in terms of behaviour.
While the monks live a sedate life of celibacy and fill their days with prayer and silent contemplation, their wild simian namesakes are sex-crazed bundles of energy who consider any moment not spent eating, copulating or larking around a cardinal sin.
It is therefore a testament to a Capuchin’s intelligence, not to mention the tolerance and patience of their trainers, that these monkeys are the ones used to perform domestic duties for paraplegics and the housebound infirm.
Watching a helper capuchin wash his owner’s hair, take the bins out, set the Sky Plus for Antiques Roadshow and rustle up a pie and chips is one of the most touching sights in the entire animal kingdom. But what the owner doesn’t know is that when his loyal monkey tucks him safely into bed at night, the crafty beast soon nips downstairs, raids the liquor cabinet, sparks up a Castella and watches Babestation for the rest of the night.
Natural habitat: The front seat of Clint Eastwood’s car, Leamington Spa, Vatican conclaves
Likeliness of public masturbation: Low. Orangutan’s are so lazy they can’t even be bothered to crack one off unless the urge simply overpowers them.
Interesting fact: An orangutan from Longleat Safari Park went undercover in the Big Brother House for Series 13, screened by Channel 5. Using the pseudonym Adam Kelly, the orangutan managed to pass for a genuine Big Brother housemate, surviving until the last week when he was pipped to the winner’s crown by Luke Anderson.
Although many housemates noticed Adam was different to them, the orangutan’s ingenious cover story – that he was reformed member of LA gang The Crips – persuaded everyone that any disparities were merely cultural. It was only when the orang-utan left the Big Brother House and had his sit-down interview with the Daily Star’s crack team of top investigative journalists that the animal’s true identity was uncovered.
Profile: The orangutans at Rhesus Park are among the most immensely gifted simians in the entire animal kingdom. This is mainly down to the wonders of pioneering art project, which has tapped into the inherent artistic gifts of this wonderful species.
Since 1998, renowned Shropshire-based artist Theodore Kafelnikov, whose portfolio has fetched around £14m in global auction rooms, has been mentoring our orangutans, asking nothing in return except a caramel wafer and plastic cup of Bovril.
Other giants from the world of modern art have now joined Theodore in joining our project and the results have been mindblowing. Two of our orangutans, Amsterdam and Hanoi, have reached such a level of sophistication in their work that two of their paintings were recently donated as raffle prizes for the Shropshire bake off.
Watching the likes of Hanoi and Amsterdam conceive such masterpieces will be one of the highlights of your trip to Rhesus Park. Who knows, you might even get lucky and have the great honour of being asked to pose naked as a model.