The Primatarium in Kings Cross

Today I sat amongst respected primatologists whilst listening to stories by Cyril Rosens family and friends in celebration of his life, at the Primate Society of Great Britain conference. It was truly moving and I look forward to researching more of his stories, this one being a case in point.


Earlier this month I was intrigued to learn there was a Primatarium in Kings Cross during the end of the 1970s. It took over the site of where Scala nightclub in Kings Cross currently stands, but there’s very little information about what it offered the public.

I imagined it was place where people would pay to see a variety of live performing primates – monkeys dressed in waistcoats playing mini accordions and fully clothed chimps staggering around bipedally handing out programmes. But I couldn’t have been more wrong – thankfully!

After a tip-off from a dear contact and Primatologist, I was told it was the brainchild of a man named Cyril Rosen the founder of the International Primate Protection League (IPPL-UK) who financed the project himself in order to raise awareness about primates.

My contact told me: “He’s a philanthropist with a particular interest in primates and he wanted to bring the…

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