3 12, 2019

Paternity test and other surprises

As you know, we are part of an international study of the chimpanzee genome, led by a team of scientists from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF). The aim is to find the countries of origin (in Africa) of the victims of illegal trafficking and thus being able to pressure local governments to implement measures to stop this trafficking as currently they usually wash their hands in the absence of evidence.

When Dr. Marquès and team presented the results, some of them caught us by surprise. The samples taken by the caretakers of each of the chimpanzees were used to determine their subspecies and the hypothetical country of origin. But in addition to the original purpose, the samples were used to verify possible kinship relationships and have uncovered a reality: […]

3 12, 2019

VII Iberian Primatology Conference

Empathy, Education and Conservation: Primates in a shared world

This year the event took place in Lisbon and this is where our Research team flew, along with some of the students of the Masters in Primatology of Fundació Universitat de Girona and Fundació MONA (

The presentations were very interesting and enriching, showing a good “level of health” of Iberian Primatology. As always, new bonds and future collaborations were created in order to continue learning about our evolutionary family and working for their conservation and well-being. And we came back with a great reward for our work: winning 4 of the 5 awards were handed out: […]

29 11, 2019

New veterinary annex

You already know that chimpanzees are very long-lived and that some of MONA’s inhabitants are getting old. Age-related illnesses begin to be the order of the day, including a number of different heart problems.

If anaesthesia is a risk for an aging animal, […]

3 09, 2019

Informative session: Masters & Postgraduate in Primatology


The study of the behavior of primates is one of the fundamental sciences for the understanding of the evolution and genesis of human behavior, as well as for the conservation of these species in the wild and their care in captivity in the best well-being conditions. […]

9 08, 2019

ElTenedor withdraws the chimp from their latests advert

ElTenedor, the well-known restaurant booking app, recently used a young chimpanzee for their latest publicity campaign.

From Fundació MONA we launched a petition demanding that the brand commits to not use wild animals in their advertising, given the harsh conditions they have to endure.

After more than 36,000 people signed the petition on in only  a few days, ElTenedor has announced that they will withdraw the advert and have committed not to use chimpanzees or other wild animals again in their commercials.

We want to congratulate ElTenedor for making the right decision and being so receptive to our message. Surely they will be an inspiration for many other companies that due to ignorance continue to use primates and other species in their advertising campaigns.

Thanks to and the 36,441 people that have been involved and have made this great achievement happen.

28 05, 2019

Africa’s Rescue Anniversary

Today, the 28th of June 2019, marks a very important day in the Mona calendar. It is 10 years since Mona rescued a wild born, female chimpanzee, Africa. She was captured from the wild and smuggled into Spain by boat. When she arrived in Spain she had bruises on her face and back, and a port worker decided to ‘save’ her and take her into his care, without knowing the full implications of keeping a wild animal in his home.

Head Keeper Talk
To help celebrate this milestone we conducted an interview with one of MONA’s first caregivers, Alba Gomara. Alba has worked with the primates at MONA from almost the very beginning, so knows Africa extremely well. We took this opportunity to look back over the past 10 years but also to look to the future.

What’s the biggest improvement you’ve seen in Africa?
When Africa first arrived we thought that her rehabilitation was going to be very difficult, as she was born in the wild, was highly humanised and hadn’t seen another chimp since being taken from the wild as a baby. Prior to her rescue she still had daily physical contact with her owners and they had developed strong emotional bonds.
The process of introducing her to other chimpanzees was slow, however she was curious. Once her other issues were addressed, such as her diet and medical problems, her rehabilitation started moving quickly. At the start she wouldn’t touch the floor and was scared of the straw, as she had never seen it before, but she soon learnt that it was not scary at all.
Soon Africa became a very intelligent and social chimp; she knows how to work the social hierarchy. For example, she created relationships with all the chimps […]

15 04, 2019

Spring at the sanctuary

The clocks have sprung forward. The days are warmer and longer. Birds are singing. Crickets are chirping and the trees and plants around the sanctuary are bursting into flower.

Yes, Spring is here; it has brought to Mona long, green grass, trees full of leaves, blue skies, and lots of fresh new growth in the outdoor enclosures. The rescued Primates and their keepers are very happy the good weather has finally arrived!

From the middle of March we started spotting more birds, butterflies and bees flying around and more lizards coming out to sunbathe. Now we’re fully into springtime, trees are starting to blossom and the grass is really starting to grow. This has created a naturally enriching environment for the primates to enjoy.

Spring for the Barbary Macaques

In the wild, Barbary Macaques spend the majority of their day foraging for plants, seeds and insects. The Spring helps us to bring the wild to them, by giving us the opportunity to provide a lot more natural enrichment in the form of yummy plants, flowers and grasses; including one of the macaques favourites, dandelion flowers.

Abu in particular is very happy spring has arrived, bringing warmer weather with it; he loves nothing better than to spend his mornings sunbathing.

Spring for the Chimpanzees

Warmer and longer days means one great thing for the chimps – more time outside! They have more time to play, groom and lay in the sun, and more time to enjoy their naturally planted enclosure as it ‘springs’ into life. The warmer weather is favourite of Africa, she loves spending her days at the top of the tower sunbathing. To help with the heat they are starting to get ice lollies again, Toni and Juanito are always very […]