MONKEY World has welcomed its latest arrival – Kalu the chimpanzee.

The 37-year-old primate had lived at Broadlands Stud, the South African estate of the renowned racehorse trainer Pat Cavendish O'Neill.

Pat, who died last year, built up a menagerie of wild animals at Broadlands. Kalu was kept at the stud farm in Somerset West, Cape Town, for more than 30 years following her capture from the wild in the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire.

Kalu also featured predominantly in O'Neill's written memoirs, 'A Chimpanzee in the Wine Cellar'.

PICTURES: Monkey World through the years

Monkey World director Dr Alison Cronin said “Despite not having contact with her own kind since she was stolen from the wild as a baby, Kalu is reacting calmly and happily to the attentions of the new group.

"It shows how much chimpanzees want and need to be with other of their own kind regardless of how long they have lived alone.

"This is the story of so many of our rescued chimps at the park.”

Since O'Neill's death Kalu had been looked after by South Africa's Monkey Town Primate Centre, who contacted Monkey World to see if she could finally find a family of her own kind at the Dorset primate rescue centre.

However, her trip to the UK was not without drama. Monkey World says the chimpanzee was held for ransom over a financial dispute with the O'Neill estate.

A Monkey World spokesman said: "Kalu’s rescue was jeopardised when the Monkey World team were prevented from entering the Broadlands Farm on the day they were due to move her.

"Negotiations between the landowner and the O’Neill Trust and estate got the team to Kalu but not before they missed their flight out of Cape Town.

"Monkey World director Dr Alison Cronin, animal director Jeremy Keeling, and specialist wildlife veterinarian Dr John Lewis made the epic trip back to the UK, with the chimpanzee on board the same flight, 24 hours later."

On arrival in the UK, Dr Cronin and the team quickly settled Kalu into life at the park, living alongside her new family, a community of five other chimpanzees including three others which have also been smuggled from the wild and used in circuses and as photographer’s props in Cyprus, Mexico, and Thailand.