BSc BVSc. MRCVS
Gareth was our regular farm vet, until we changed his life with the news that we were taking the Chimps and Gibbons from Penscynor Wild Life Park, which had closed down.
The veterinary practice partners called a meeting to decide who should specialise in looking after the primates. It has since become obvious, from some of Gareth's mutterings, that the voting system they used to nominate him was undemocratic, but he was never one to avoid a challenge.
Working with wildlife was already a way of life for Simon Adams, one of the other partners and Gareth only met him for the first time on the day we moved the chimps from Penscynor. The Chimps were darted, examined and shipped in relay's to Wales Ape & Monkey Sanctuary. Simon remained at Penscynor, whilst Gareth went with The Chimps to revive them on arrival. This seemed to be a good idea in principal.
As we carried the first chimp, Jeremy, on a stretcher from the wagon to his new enclosure, I had occasion to point out to Gareth that Jeremy was now sitting up and that it would be a good idea to hurry. Gareth turned around to find himself face to face with a non too happy chimpanzee. I clearly remember his words, but they were not appropriate for publication on a web-site. I also remember what he said to a camera man who was blocking our path, and this was not even appropriate for an army parade ground.
When Gareth brought his daughter to see the Chimps, they greeted him in their usual way. Having seen him coming they had collected a pile of forest bark and dung, which they then threw at him in great handfuls as he approached the cage. Gareth's daughter asked him "why do they only do this to you Daddy" and Gareth explained that it was a special Chimp custom, which they reserved for their favourite people.
Gareth is now working with other primates at Wales Ape & Monkey Sanctuary and elsewhere in our area and he now admits that perhaps he didn't draw the "short straw" after all.
Gareth is one of the best friends we, and our animals, could wish for.