1 04, 2019

Wildlife at MONA

MONA is not only home to rescued primates, the centre is also a natural haven and home to an abundance of native wildlife. The centre is surrounded by farmland, wooded areas, and areas left to grow wild. These subtly different habitats provide homes for creatures large and small. The air is always full of birdsong and you can often hear frogs and toads croaking in the mornings and evenings. When the sun is shining, lizards can be spotted warming themselves on the exposed stones and woodwork and we are regularly visited by mice and other small rodents.

Wildlife Friendly
So many of the world’s creatures are in danger of extinction, not only the primates we are caring for at the sanctuary but also the wildlife that surrounds us. Here at MONA we try to make our centre as wildlife friendly as possible. Where it’s practical, we leave areas to grow wild and we leave wood piles to decay naturally in order to provide a source of food and shelter. We have also created a Bug Hotel to encourage invertebrates to nest and breed in relative safety. This is a specially made structure that provides homes for many species of insects including a number of species of bee.
Invertebrates account for 97% of all animal species, so naturally many different invertebrate species can be found around Mona, including butterflies and caterpillars. Many types of spider can be found all over the sanctuary. This is great because Spiders are an esse part of the ecosystem as they eat many pest species such as flies, that can spread disease.

Bird Spotting
Because of our location we are lucky enough to see and hear many species of bird. When we’re cleaning enclosures, distributing food or relaxing during lunch we often joined by small flocks of […]

13 03, 2019

International Macaque Day

On the 16th of March 2019 we celebrate International Macaque Day. Many Macaque species are endangered and this is what makes International Macaque Day so important. The day is designed to raise awareness of the decline in populations due to deforestation and the pet trade. It is agreed that unless urgent action is taken now, some macaque species will be lost from the wild in as little as 10-15 years!

At Fundacio Mona we care for four rescued Barbary Macaques; all four were victims of the pet trade. They were taken from their parents at very young ages, smuggled out of their native Africa and kept as pets. It is estimated that 300 Barbary Macaques are being taken from the wild to be sold as pets every year and with a population believed to be as small as 11,000 to 15,000 individuals spread over a very fragmented area of North Africa, time is running out for these amazing primates.


Macaque Fact 1: Aside from humans, Macaques are the most widespread primate genus
Macaque Fact 2: There are 23 species of Macaque, including the Crab-Eating Macaque and the Rhesus Macaque.
Macaque Fact 3: Barbary Macaques are the only primate species to live wild in Europe.
Macaque Fact 4: Macaques use cheek pouches to store food.
Macaque Fact 5: Macaques communicate via vocalisations and facial expressions. For example, Pig-Tailed Macaques pucker their lips and push out their chin to greet a familiar individual. Whereas, Barbary Macaques chatter their teeth together as a greeting.
Macaque Fact 6: Many Macaque species help to maintain healthy forests by dispersing seeds an enabling new trees and plants to grow.
Macaque Fact 7: Insects are an important part of Macaque diets; this means they play an important role in controlling invertebrate populations.


6 03, 2019

Surviving winter…

How do you keep yourself warm in the winter? A big jumper? A blanket? Heating? A hot drink? Here at MONA we do all of these things for our rescued primates.

How we ‘survive’ the cold winter

The Chimpanzee bedrooms are fitted with under floor heating and air conditioning units that can heat (and cool) the air. This maintains the temperature of the rooms at a comfortable 20’c, which helps keep our chimpanzees healthy over the relatively short, but sometimes severe winters we can experience here in Northern Spain.

The Chimps love to use blankets for additional warmth – they can often be seen wearing them as a cloak or incorporating them in to their nests. To help the chimps start the day well we offer them a warm drink in the mornings and in the evenings they enjoy a warming soup before going to sleep.

Our Barbary macaques, on the other hand, are better equipped to deal with the low temperatures as they are naturally found in areas with a large temperature variation. They are covered with a dense coat which wards off the worst of the cold and wet, but that doesn’t always stop them from getting cold feet..! To keep warm they curl up their toes and tuck them under their bodies.

Ice Everywhere!

Despite temperatures during the day regularly reaching the mid-teens, the nights are often cold with temperatures dropping below zero. Many days start with a covering of frost and it’s not uncommon for the macaques water bowls to be frozen over. When they have thawed out a bit, Pipa likes to pick up the small ice block and lick it or take a bite out of it.

Because of the low morning temperatures, the chimps are not allowed in to the outdoor enclosure until the sun has chased […]

11 02, 2019

Surprise someone special this Valentine’s Day!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, there’s sure to be some last-minute panic buying of chocolates and roses to help express your feelings to that special person in your life.
But why not do something different and give them a gift that will really surprise and delight?!
We have options that offer so much more than a token gesture for one day a year, have a look at our suggestions below:


Give your loved one the chance to become a part of the MONA team for a few days!
Our short stays offer a truly unique experience. The lucky person will work under the supervision of our most experienced caregivers in an environment where they will be able to immerse themselves in the daily care routine and lives of chimpanzees and macaques. Creating memories that will last a lifetime whilst making a real contribution to the welfare of our rescued primates. FIND OUT MORE […]

31 12, 2018

Primates Nº 37

You can read Primates Magazine Nº 37 here

31 12, 2018

Primates Nº 36

You can read Primates Magazine Nº 36 here

15 01, 2018

Primates Nº 35

You can read Primates Magazine Nº 35 here

15 01, 2018

Primates Nº 34

You can read Primates Magazine Nº 34 here

15 01, 2018

Primates Nº 33

You can read Primates Magazine Nº 33 here

15 01, 2018

Primates Nº 32

You can read Primates Magazine Nº 32 here