Natasha Balletta Photography | International Primate Day

International Primate Day

International Primate Day was set up by Animal Defenders to raise awareness and help protect the different monkey species from barbary macaque monkeys to orangutans and gorillas, that are critically endangered or a threatened species in their natural habitat.

Barbary Macaque Monkeys

Trentham Monkey Forest in Stoke On Trent is one of my favourite places that I always enjoy visiting because of how close you get to the monkeys. One of the things that makes places such as Monkey Forest is you get to watch the monkeys in a beautiful woodland setting and sometimes they are walking distance from you. They hope to raise awareness of Barbary Macaque Monkeys that are endangered in Moroccco and in the future release them back into their natural habitat. Their used to be 23,500 macaques, today there are less then 10,000 in the wild. One of the conservation charities Monkey Forest work with is Moroccan Primate Conservation Foundation, they do workshops and conservation projects which include anti poaching and trying to stop the illegal pet trade. Poaching and Illegal Pet Trade are some of the threats they face in Morocco.


The past 30 years Orangutans have lost 80% of their home due to deforestation and palm oil plantations. They are facing extinction which is very sad and why they need our help, a world without orangutans is unimaginable. One of the problems for Orangutans in Indonesia and Malaysia is palm oil plantations, it is used in more then 50% of products in supermarkets. One of the organsations that are doing projects in Malaysia is Chester Zoo's Act For Wildlife, they are working alongside HUTAN to protect orangutans at Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary where the largest population of orangutans live. If you are a fan of orangutans, Chester Zoo is one of the places where you can visit them, the keepers leave hammocks in their enclosure as it encourages a natural behaviour they would do in the wild. For more information on their projects please visit Act For Wildlife's website

Western Lowland Gorillas

The Western Lowland Gorilla is the smaller species out of the gorillas that live in Africa. Even though there are 100,000 living in the wild, they critically endangered. Some of the threats they come across are habitat destruction from logging, farming and grazing. Gorillas are also hunted for the bushmeat trade, it is one of their biggest threats. One of the organisations that help gorillas is ZSL's Africa Conservation Programme where they monitor the health of gorillas, people who live in the same areas as gorillas, tourists and staff that are involved in the project. Through their conservation project they hope to come to solution where gorillas and people can live alongside each other. For more information please visit