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For Immediate Release: 01/25/12

Born Free USA Part of Rescue Mission Following Mississippi Roadside Zoo Probe

The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary has agreed to rescue an abused macaque found living in horrendous conditions at the Collins Zoo in Collins, MS, after an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States revealed serious animal welfare issues and public safety concerns at the facility. Born Free USA is working with HSUS to coordinate the safe transfer of the animal tonight from Collins to the sanctuary in Dilley, Texas.

According to Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA, “Like most roadside zoos, these animals were living in unthinkable, inhumane conditions, many suffering from a variety of life threatening physical and mental conditions. Every day in this country, wild animals need to be rescued from ‘pet owners,’ laboratories, roadside zoos and other abusive circumstances. These situations — just like in Zanesville, Ohio last fall — are ticking time bombs waiting to go off and endanger the public.”

Tim Ajax, director of the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary, adds, “What the HSUS uncovered in Mississippi is heartbreaking and not uncommon. These animals are lucky to have a second chance. Born Free USA is happy to be able to take in this macaque and offer him a better life where he can live as freely as possible, and with other macaques. He will likely be experiencing grass, trees and proper diet for the first time in his life.”

At the spacious 186-acre Primate Sanctuary, the Collins Zoo macaque will join the current 532 primate residents after having lived in a small, filthy cage alongside of cougars, leopards and wolves.

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to the United States the message of “compassionate conservation” — the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film “Born Free,” along with their son Will Travers, now chief executive officer of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.

More at www.bornfreeusa.org; on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bornfreeusa; and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

Media Contact: Rodi Rosensweig, publicrelations@bornfreeusa.org, (203) 270-8929.

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