Bourne student Melissa Thorley prepares for a mission to Panama

Melissa Thorley from Bourne will be jetting off to complete a four month internship at the Alouatta monkey sanctuary in Panama, which specialises in the rehabilitation of primates
Melissa Thorley from Bourne will be jetting off to complete a four month internship at the Alouatta monkey sanctuary in Panama, which specialises in the rehabilitation of primates
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A student from Bourne will be heading to Central America this summer to carry out conservation work with monkeys.

Melissa Thorley, 21, is completing a degree in animal conservation science at the University of Cumbria.

But soon her passion for primates will take her to Panama – via Marrakech in Morocco.

In July Melissa will be setting off to complete a four-month internship at 
the Alouatta monkey sanctuary in Panama, which specialises in the rehabilitation of primates, especially howler monkeys.

While there she will be contributing to educational programmes, assisting with research projects and supporting the running of the facility.

However before she heads to Central America, Melissa will be stopping of in North Africa to attend the World Environmental Education Conference in Morocco in June.

She has been invited to deliver a presentation on her research work, which is entitled Evaluating how environmental education can influence and change children’s perception of gorillas.

Melissa said: “I sent in my abstract, without too much hope of being accepted.

“When I received my invitation to present I was overjoyed, as I will also have the opportunity to attend many of the other lectures 
and sessions taking place during the six-day conference.”

Melissa has a long standing interest in primate conservation.

She is a volunteer with Moroccan Primate Conservation UK, which concentrates on the protection of the endangered Barbary macaque monkeys.