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For Immediate Release: 03/24/14

Swinging for Spring!

Rare video shows 12-year-old snow monkey enjoying some swing time at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Texas; life far from her days as someone's pet

Washington, D.C. -- Tamae, a 12-year-old Japanese Macaque living at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Dilley, Texas, was spotted swinging on the first day of spring at her favorite spot on the 186-acre facility, which provides a permanent home for 630 residents—many of whom were rescued from roadside zoos, research facilities, or private possession. The video can be seen at http://youtu.be/C_7g2cbJ4v4.

According to Tim Ajax, Director of the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary, “Tamae has been swinging since she arrived! But, she dismounts any time she sees someone watching her. We were so happy to finally have the act documented. Tamae will be 13 in May. Japanese macaques—also called snow monkeys—frequently live to be over 20 years old.”

Tamae was reared as a “pet” by a caring woman who doted on her, but who later came to understand that Tamae needed a chance to live the rest of her life as a monkey, not as a pet. Putting Tamae's needs ahead of her own, the woman brought her to the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in 2009. After a lengthy and difficult adjustment period, Tamae finally settled into monkey life at the sanctuary, and shares her enclosure with a rhesus macaque named Poco, who was also someone’s “pet.”

According to Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “Tamae and our other sanctuary residents are lucky to have a forever home now, surrounded by grass, trees, and proper care. Every day, wild animals need to be saved from horrific situations caused by humans who have made a business out of confining them for profit, research, and entertainment. Wild animals belong in the wild, and these scenarios should never exist. Sanctuaries are filled to capacity, costly to run, and are the only aid we can give these animals. Our goal is to stop the public from purchasing wild animals as pets; not only is it inhumane, but also a serious public safety and environmental issue.”

About the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary: The 186-acre Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary is home to 630 residents: 22 baboons, three vervets, and more than 600 macaques representing seven different species. Located in Dilley, Texas (a 1.5 hour drive from San Antonio), the sanctuary is the only one of its kind in the U.S., in that the majority of its residents (ages two to 31) live in free-ranging groups in natural enclosures of several acres, providing a safe, permanent home for its residents. In order to allow the residents the maximum amount of privacy and freedom with minimal human interference, the sanctuary is not open to the public. However, the public can support the work of the sanctuary by making a financial donation; purchasing an item from the sanctuary’s online wish list; or by “adopting” one of its residents. Just to provide proper food and diet alone for its 630 residents costs approximately $150,000.00 per year. The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS).

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 North America 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. Born Free USA’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, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

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

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