The Foundation

The MONA Foundation is a non profit organization, registered under the number 1404 in the Department of Justice of the Generalitat de Catalunya which ensures that all foundations use the funds to achieve their aims.

The foundation has a rescue and rehabilitation center near Girona surrounded by nature that is the home to rescued primates and a place to understand and respect wild animals.

Why a rescue and rehabilitation center for primates in Spain?

Because for many years due to Spain’s proximity to the African continent,  many chimpanzees have been traded for being used in circuses and as tourist attractions. During the 70s and 80s was a common thing to see on the Spanish beaches, chimps as photographers props. Today they are used in circuses, zoos, advertisements, television shows and other attractions. Many chimpanzees are held in appalling conditions in private collections, zoos, circuses and other amusement parks.

In many cases they are alone, without the company of their peers, regardless that chimpanzees are extremely intelligent, social animals that suffer in captivity and solitude.

In the case of the Barbary macaques, the traffic is much more recent and has to do with the lucrative black market for exotic pets. Like chimpanzees, they need a social group and appropriate conditions for a life free from suffering.


In 2001, the Department of Customs recognizes the primate rescue center of the MONA Foundation as suitable to host primates from the illegal trade and allows us to rescue the first group of chimpanzees confiscated from a former circus chimpanzee trainer. These chimpanzees had been scraping for more than eight years in a truck in deplorable hygiene and care conditions. And this is how we embarked on a long-term solution to put a situation to this long forgotten case by the Auhorities.


MONA-UK  is the British branch of MONA Foundation. Based in Cambridge it was founded in 2002 and was registered as a foundation in the United Kingdom in 2005.

There is not a primate sanctuary in the UK.  The tasks of our team are to help the primates of our rehabilitation center by raising funds. They also take care of the administrative tasks concerning the British donors, management of the working holidays, attendance at events, campaigns and public relations.

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