VISITORS to Dorset's Monkey World can look forward to meeting a new cuddly resident who was rescued from an uncertain fate.  

Monkey World in Bovington has saved a marmoset named Kush amid the ongoing problem of unregulated monkey ownership. 

Kush, an eight-year-old female common marmoset, was rescued from Bristol on January 30. 

Her former owner contacted Monkey World after he realised he had been misled by a seller.

He had believed he was rescuing two monkeys but instead was buying them from an online company in Luton. 

Dr Alison Cronin, the director of the primate sanctuary said: “Monkey World was able to help Kush the female marmoset that was sold for £1,000. She is eight years old and could live for another five or more years.

"As an intelligent, social, wild animal she needs companionship of her own kind in order to communicate, groom, and sleep together – all things humans cannot provide or replace."

While legal to keep marmosets as pets, her former owner understood that, as an exotic animal, Kush required more care than a dog or cat. 

Not prepared for the sheer amount of specialist knowledge, money and care needed to look after Kush, he decided to give her to Monkey World. 

The decision came after Kush's partner, Fleur, died. A social primate, marmosets need companionship so Dr Conin agreed to take Kush and partnered her with another recent pet trade rescue, Moschino. 

Dr Cronin said: "The laws in the UK today are not good enough to ensure that monkeys who are kept privately in the exotic pet trade receive the care they need.

"Instead, we continue to rescue monkeys from private homes that are kept in solitary confinement, often in bird cages in sitting rooms. It is tragic and we still have more than 70 monkeys on our waiting list. I hope that the government follows through with its commitment to improve the legislation to protect individuals like Kush and Moschino.”

While her owner had provided adequate facilities for Kush, Moschino was confiscated after being found living in a tiny cage in Essex. 

His ex-owner was prosecuted and found guilty of animal welfare offences and banned from keeping animals for 10 years.