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For Immediate Release: 09/17/13

Nine Baboons from Laboratory Find Freedom at The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Texas

New residents arrive at the 186 acre facility and will socialize and explore a natural environment outside of a cage for very first time

Washington, D.C. — Nine female baboons, ages 13 to 23, arrived at The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Dilley, Texas on Tuesday, September 17, after being retired from a laboratory research program, it was announced by Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA and Tim Ajax, Director of the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary. The sanctuary is currently home to 13 baboons, 4 vervets and more than 600 macaques representing seven different species.

According to Ajax, "The new residents -- Pearl, Missy, Chloe, April, Friendly, Spicy, Brooke, Kennedy and Lulu -- will begin their new life in over a half acre enclosure with climbing structures, native habitat, and five 20' x 20' covered safety areas. This will allow gradual integration for them to a more normal group environment where they will have grass and earth under their feet for most likely the first time in their lives, and have the chance to socialize with each other. They have never before lived as a group and were housed singly for most of their lives. Our long-term goals include a possible assimilation into a 2.5 acre enclosure which currently houses 10 other baboons. We would love them all to be together but there are social and logistical adjustments ahead for them and we need to go at their pace."

According to Roberts, "This is a happy ending for these lucky nine, as it has been for our hundreds of residents at the sanctuary. We are ecstatic that we can give them a life of grass, trees, ponds, exercise, proper food and medical care. However, every day wild animals need to be rescued from ‘pet owners,’ laboratories, roadside zoos, and other abusive circumstances. About 13% of our entire primate population at the sanctuary consists of monkeys previously utilized in research. Wild animals belong in the wild and these scenarios should never exist at all. Sanctuaries are filled to capacity, costly to run, and are the only aid we can give these animals."

The last arrival of primates to the sanctuary was in July and August 2012, when over 100 macaques and one baboon came to the facility after the closure of Wild Animal Orphanage in San Antonio.

To see photos of the nine new residents during their arrival at The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary, click here. To learn more about the sanctuary, make a donation, or "adopt a primate," visit www.bornfreeusa.org/sanctuary.

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 America the message of "compassionate conservation" -- the vision of the U.K.-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 CEO 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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