A monkey sanctuary near Looe was hit by storms last night shattering monkey enclosure fencing and causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
The Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary saw a large beech tree come crashing down onto one of the woolly monkeys’ enclosures at 6pm.
Keepers were able to react quickly and monkeys were moved to safe areas away from the damaged territory.
The Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary is currently home to 37 monkeys which are divided into groups.
Wild Futures, the charity which runs The Monkey Sanctuary is today appealing for donations to help Sanctuary staff rebuild and repair the damage.
Claire Turnbull, senior keeper at Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary said: “Just before the monkeys were given their last feed and their lights turned out for the night, the winds turned to gale force and we heard a faint crunching sound.
“We went outside to check for tree damage and discovered that one of the huge 150-year-old beech trees in the large open-topped enclosure had fallen, crashing down and destroying a large section of the enclosure fence.
“It was very scary but the team jumped to action immediately to ensure that all monkeys were moved to safe areas of the territory.
“At the same time through the night there were constant power cuts which meant that the heating and lighting in the monkeys’ indoor rooms and huts was failing, so extra blankets were handed out to make sure they all stayed warm throughout the night and generators were on standby- it was an all-night operation.”
The particular enclosure that was hit is a vital part of the woolly monkeys’ territory as it provides them with a large open space in which to climb, exercise and forage, according to Mrs Turnbull.
The keeper team are desperate to get the enclosure rebuilt however initial estimates are in the thousands, due to the large specialist panels and the foundation work required.
The Monkey Sanctuary is due to open to the public for February half term and so work needs to be completed quickly.
In the meantime, Keepers will be working hard to ensure that the monkeys remain calm and busy with minimal amounts of stress.
Hayley Dann, a member of the management team said: “So many people have been affected by the latest storms and weather – it is just relentless.
“We know that many of our neighbours in Looe have been hit and it’s very upsetting to see the damage and distress caused.
“We are concerned about what is yet to come, particularly over the weekend.
“We sincerely hope that the worst has passed and that with the public’s support we can start to rebuild our monkey territory and get our Sanctuary back to normal again.”