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For Immediate Release: 01/23/13

Born Free USA Creates Special Valentine’s Day Package to Bring Joy and a New ‘Friend’ to Children with Adopt-A-Primate Program

Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary resident Khy, a 4-year-old snow monkey, wants to know, "Will you be my ‘prime mate' for Valentine's Day?" Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, has announced a new primate "adoption" program designed specifically for kids this Valentine’s Day.

The adopt-a-primate program, which helps support the more than 600 residents at the 186-acre Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Dilley, TX, is usually $52 a year, but starting today through Feb. 28, Born Free USA is offering a special Valentine’s Day gift package for children for $39.95. This offer also includes a photograph of Khy, a certificate of adoption, a newsletter, a stuffed animal primate from Born Free USA's Plush Animal Collection (valued at $18), and a Valentine's Day pack of cards that kids can use to send to their own Valentine.

According to Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA: “Our adopt-a-primate program has always been a success because people can get to know more about a specific resident at our sanctuary while their donation directly goes to the care and rehabilitation of that individual and others at the sanctuary. We want to place a larger emphasis now on teaching children about these beautiful animals, and tell their story and spread the message about keeping wildlife in the wild. We chose Valentine’s Day as a way to make the program more affordable, fun and accessible.”

By participating in this program and adopting Khy for Valentine’s Day, the public will be helping Born Free USA provide food, care and rehabilitation for him and the more than 600 other monkeys who live at the sanctuary, while educating a child about the lifestyle and needs of primates.

About Khy: He arrived at the sanctuary in August 2009 after being kept as someone’s "pet.” Though he was in the hands of a doting human, he began to display the unpredictable behavior of the wild animal he is. He was growing up fast and no longer was the adorable little infant who so desperately needed nurturing after being stolen from his real animal mother. This is unfortunately the story for many of the hundreds of residents at the sanctuary.

When Khy arrived at Born Free USA, he was a handful of high energy and exuberance, and had a low tolerance for anything resembling constraint — reminding him of his time as a pet. The sanctuary staff love it when monkeys insist on being monkeys and display their natural behavior as it should be, and did everything possible to help him acclimate, make primate friends, and bolster his confidence. One of the fortunate former "pets," Khy is now able to spend his life in beautiful exploration of the natural world around him at the sanctuary.

The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary offers macaques, vervets and baboons rescued from abuse and exploitation a second chance at a more natural life. After being denied the freedom they deserved, these individuals have been given a new start at the sanctuary, where they can live out their remaining days.

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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