Two animal lovers from Amstelveen in a house with sixty monkeys: This was once the beginning of the AAP Foundation. The foundation has been caring for monkeys and other exotic animals in need for 50 years. For the series “Zomertour: Spirit of the Zone”, NH Nieuws and NH Nieuws dug into the archives and found special photos.
At Polygoon News from 1973, we met the couple Okko and Riga Reussien. In the 1960s, they took their first monkey home. It was a trend at the time to show off your wealth by buying exotic pets. “Then we feel the sad and confusing situation that people are going to be essentially monkeys,” Okko says in the video.
This may be cute at first, but it changes quickly. Riga and Okko make more and more people knock on their door and they can’t handle their monkey anymore. In 1973 almost daily. “The monkey, who has been kind and affectionate for four years, suddenly becomes mean and crazy. Then they have to leave,” Okko describes what happened.
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Sadness in Okko’s eyes when an animal lover argues against raising monkeys. According to Oko, things go wrong because monkeys are so used to living in groups, where a certain hierarchy is enforced. If you let them grow up on their own, the animals get frustrated.
“Monkey as a pet is impossible. It is not possible”
With a dying monkey in his arms, Oko tells him it’s often too late. “Because of the spinal cord injury, this monkey is paralyzed. It will suffocate. There is nothing else to do,” says Oko, gently hitting the animal. “A monkey as a pet is impossible. It’s not possible,” Oko sighed desperately.
stay in the garden
The Russian couple tries to reintegrate the monkeys for whom there is still hope into a group, hoping that the problematic behavior will stop and the monkey will be happy again. By the time the registration takes place, they are urgently looking for additional space to keep the monkeys. At the time, the packs were extending into the garden, but winter is approaching.
Fortunately, this extra space will be added soon after the broadcast. The AAP Animal Shelter is moving into an old carnation greenhouse in Legmeerdijk in Amstelveen. Until 1996, this was the operational base of the AAP Corporation. Today, the organization is based in Almira and is concerned with the fate of exotic mammals throughout Europe.
Summer Tour: Soul of the Region
This story is part of the NH Nieuws summer tour: Spirit of the Zone. In this ten-episode series, Lieutenant Colonel Coen Bogter visits various regions in the north of the Netherlands. Together with regional correspondents from NH Nieuws and several guests, he goes in search of the spirit of the region.
Today, Quinn Bogter has settled in Amstland. It can be watched on our TV channel from 5.10pm, but it can already be watched via this link.
Nowadays, thanks to the efforts of the Reussien couple and the AAP Foundation, it is illegal in the Netherlands to keep a monkey as a pet. If the police find a monkey in your home, it will be brought to the AAP.
Lots of dumping animals
The fact of buying pets without really thinking about it is a reality of all times. Currently, animals that were often brought home during corona time are culled en masse. “People want to go on vacation and then dump their kittens, turtles, rabbits or other pets,” Miriam Bosman of Dierenambulance De Ronde Venen/Amstelland told NH Nieuws.
I built a flat rabbit, because there was no room left for the lying rabbits. Last week, a turtle was found lying on the escape lane of the A9 motorway near Amstelveen. The Turtle Shelter Foundation Harkema concluded that the animal should have been euthanized years ago and there in bad condition.
It still matters
Also in North Holland sometimes there are exotic animals, which are always brought to the AAP institution. So the foundation is still important for the county. In Hilversum, last April, serval spotted. It is not forbidden to keep these animals as pets, but it is not strongly recommended.
In May, the AAP Foundation had to sponsor stray wolf that shook a residential area in Nieuw-Vennep. This animal can also be kept legally in the Netherlands, but the extra time and effort required to care for it is often underestimated.
Also a feral raccoon in 2019 The most terrifying family in Huizen, was lovingly received by the AAP Foundation. More Amstelveen History? The episode “Zomertoer: The Spirit of the Amstelland” also includes a report on the start of the Uilenstede Student Campus.