Back in July I was lucky enough to do some voluntary work at the Mona Primate Sanctuary near Girona in Spain. Mona provides a home for chimpanzees rescued from captivity, helping them to live in a more natural environment and providing a place to aid people to better understand these amazing animals.

It was a real eye-opening experience spending time with the chimps, most of which haven't exactly had a great start in life. Even after the first day I'd begun to recognise each individual, mind you, their looks and personalities differ as much as any humans'. And then, starting to hear some of their histories was quite an emotional experience!

It was great fun preparing the chimps' food, and working alongside the really cool people who keep this place running. But obviously, it was photographing them that interested me the most, and a few of the chimps were real posers, they gave some of the models I've worked with a run for their money!!!

The Mona Foundation do such a worthy and commendable job, and I would thoroughly recommend visiting the place and better still, volunteering, even for just a few days. There are more details of how to get involved on the website of the UK branch of Mona.

Unfortunately I didn't get shots of all of the chimps but here's some portraits of Toto, Nico, Africa, Bongo, Charli and Toni. 

Mona Foundation photographed by Julian M Kilsby


Sam said...

Fantastic!! Handsome fellows! :D