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The Role of Sanctuaries in Conservation - Ape Alliance Panel Discussion


26 April 2018 (Thu)
6:30 - 8:00


University of Bristol Queens Building Pugsley Lecture Theatre


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The annual Ape Alliance panel discussion at The University of Bristol is on the important topic of the role of sanctuaries in conservation.  Please join us to explore this topic with our expert panel, this is a wonderful opportunity to meet people on the forefront of conservation running sanctuaries in Africa, South East Asia and closer to home here in the UK and ask them questions.

Join the Facebook Event

For those who can't attend in person the event will be streamed live at 6.30pm UK time at this link

The event is open to all and while there is no charge we ask for a suggested donation on the night of £2 to go towards ape conservation efforts.  Please register for your place below so we know how many people to expect on the night. 

The Panel

Chaired by Ian Redmond OBE, Ape Alliance Chairman








Ian Redmond is a wildlife biologist and conservationist, renowned for his work with great apes and elephants over 40 years.   Since studying and protecting the mountain gorillas of Rwanda and Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), working for the late Dr Dian Fossey, and then making the first study of the underground elephants of Mt Elgon, Kenya, Ian has devoted his life to putting conservation principles into practice through investigation, education and advocacy. 

He is a widely published writer and has worked on or appeared in more than 100 documentary films, from introducing Sir David Attenborough to the gorillas in 1978, for the famous BBC ‘Life on Earth’ sequences, to teaching Sigourney Weaver to grunt like a gorilla for her award-winning role in the movie ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ and more recently, the series ‘Secrets in the Mist’ for National Geographic.  Ian has also led anti-poacher patrols, carried out undercover investigations into the illegal wildlife trade, guided film crews and special interest tours into close encounters with gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, elephants and erupting volcanoes, and worked to support local conservationists during the horrors of Rwanda’s and D.R. Congo’s civil wars.  As Senior Consultant to the Born Free Foundation, Ian advises the charity on such issues as the bushmeat and ivory trade, the reintroduction of animals into the wild, sustainable use of forests, climate change and field conservation. 

In 2000, Ian initiated the UN Great Apes Survival Partnership and served as Envoy until 2012.  In 2009, he was appointed Ambassador for the UN Year of the Gorilla and, since 2010, has served as an Ambassador for the UN Convention on Migratory Species.  He chairs the Ape Alliance ( and is helping develop new educational technologies:  Virtual Ecotourism - for immersive, interactive VR conservation education via  And a new way to access to important documentaries via  

He describes himself as a naturalist by birth, a biologist by training and a conservationist by necessity.

Photo caption: ‘Ian Redmond in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  Courtesy of Michael O’Donnell, Channel 7’

Gráinne McCabe, Ape Action Africa: the role of primate sanctuaries in Cameroon

Gráinne is a Biological Anthropologist and Conservation Biologist specialising in primate behaviour and ecology. Her previous research has focused on the reproductive ecology of wild monkeys in both Costa Rica and Tanzania using an integrative approach combining behavioural, ecological, nutritional, endocrinological and parasitological data to gain a better understanding of the factors impacting reproduction in threatened primates. Gráinne received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at San Antonio and her Masters from the University of Calgary, Canada. Prior to joining Bristol Zoological Society, she was a joint Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Drexel University (USA) and Universidad Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial in Equatorial Guinea, West Africa, where she focused on primate conservation and attempting to halt the bushmeat trade by lobbying the government, and managing micro-credit projects to promote alternative sources of income. In addition to overseeing the field conservation and science department of Bristol Zoological Society, Gráinne is the project lead for the Society’s Sanje Mangabey Monkey and Western Lowland Gorilla field conservation projects. She is also a trustee of Ape Action Africa, a primate sanctuary in Cameroon.

Dr Alison Cronin MBE, Director of Monkey World

Alison received her BA (1989) & MA (1992) in Biological Anthropology from Cambridge University. Following University, she worked for the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare and went on to take her PhD in Animal Behaviour from the Open University in 2001.  During this time, she worked with Greek & Turkish authorities overseeing the confiscation of dancing bears in both countries and did a season of field work with the Canadian Wildlife Service radio tracking polar bears in the Hudson Bay area. In 1992 Alison became Scientific Director of Monkey World – Ape Rescue Centre overseeing the rescue and care of monkeys and apes, with the park’s founder & Director Jim Cronin and Animal Director, Jeremy Keeling. In 2006 Jim & Alison Cronin were awarded MBEs for Services to Animal Welfare but sadly Jim passed away in 2007 leaving Alison as Director of Monkey World. The rescue and rehabilitation work of Monkey World continues today, and the park has grown into the largest international primate rescue operation in the world having assisted 26 countries to stop primate smuggling by enforcing CITES legislation and to stop abuse & neglect of primates from a wide variety of circumstances. In addition to her work at Monkey World, Alison has also founded two UK Charities, the Endangered Asian Species Trust (www.go-east) which supports the Dao Tien rehabilitation and release centre for endangered primates in Southern Vietnam and the Jim Cronin Memorial Fund for Primate Welfare & Conservation (

Joining our panel remotely through the power of technology from their field stations:

Jim and Jenny Desmond, Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection

Jenny and Jim Desmond are the founders of Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection (LCRP) in West Africa and its affiliate, Partners in Animal Protection and Conservation (PAPC), in the United States.

 Along with their local team and in partnership with local authorities, Jenny and Jim rescue chimpanzees who are being illegally sold, trafficked, held captive as ‘pets’ or otherwise abused or exploited. These chimpanzees will need lifelong care and LCRP is committed to ensuring their lives and experiences are as close as possible to a life in the wild.

The Desmond’s overarching mission is to create meaningful change in the protection and conservation of wild species, and combat chimpanzee/wildlife trafficking. Jenny is an animal welfare and conservation consultant who has handled projects ranging from strategic planning and establishing animal care protocols to fundraising and marketing campaigns. Jim is a wildlife veterinarian and a consultant specializing in emerging infectious diseases.

Jim and Jenny strongly believe it is imperative that conservation initiatives and efforts are collaborative and currently work alongside a diverse group of organizations including The Jane Goodall Institute, EcoHealth Alliance, Conservation International, Smithsonian Institute, Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, and Wild Chimpanzee Foundation.

Ian Singeton, Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme

Dr Ian Singleton is a former Zookeeper, having worked with a variety of different species at Whipsnade and Edinburgh zoos before specializing in orangutans when he moved to Jersey Zoo in the British Channel islands in 1989.  He then visited Indonesia several times over the years to learn more about wild orangutans until he finally left Jersey in 1996 to begin a Ph.D study of orangutan ranging behavior in the peat swamp forests of Suaq Balimbing, in the Kluet swamps in South Aceh District, in the Leuser Ecosystem. On completion of his thesis, he joined with the Swiss-based PanEco Foundation and Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari in 2001 to establish the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme. He is nowadays kept busy working to confiscate illegal pet orangutans and return them to a life in the wild, in field research and monitoring of the remaining wild Sumatran orangutan population, and in efforts to protect their habitat.

Shirley McGreal, Founder and Executive Director, International Primate Protection League 

Registrations are now closed


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