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Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary - 2014

2014 Fact Sheet

• The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary is located in Dilley, Texas, a 1.5 hour drive from San Antonio, Texas.

• The 186 acre sanctuary provides a safe, permanent home to more than 600 macaques, vervets, and baboons.

• Many of the sanctuary residents were rescued from abusive situations in roadside zoos, research facilities, or private possession.

• The focus of animal care at the sanctuary is to provide conditions that allow the residents to live out the remainder of their lives with extensive freedom of movement, choice of food, and choice of companions, in accordance with their social nature.

• Rehabilitation is a key part of the work at the sanctuary. Many residents were previously deprived of the ability to meet their psychological and social needs. While some continue to be psychologically damaged from their interactions with humans, as part of the rehabilitative process, the sanctuary provides a stimulating environment, encourages pair and group living, and enables residents to spend their remaining years among others of their kind.

• In order to allow the residents the maximum amount of privacy and minimal human interference, the sanctuary is not open to the public. The public can support the work of the sanctuary by “adopting” one of its residents or making a donation. Adoptive sponsors help provide food, care, and rehabilitation to their adopted individual. Sponsors also receive many unique benefits.

• Residents eat approximately 16,000 to 20,000 pounds of food each week -- fruits, vegetables, nuts, commercial monkey diet, and other healthy foods that meet their dietary needs. They especially like bananas, mangoes, watermelon, corn, and roasted peanuts. The food is delivered weekly by refrigerated truck and is hand-unloaded by sanctuary staff.

• One quarter to one third of the food each year is donated by a produce distributor in San Antonio, and the remainder costs the sanctuary approximately $100,000 a year.

• Oldest residents: Helena is the oldest at 29.5 years followed by Norman at 28 years of age. Both are Japanese macaques (snow monkeys).

• Male to female ratio: 58% of the residents are males; 42% are females.

• Largest resident: Darwin, a baboon, at 124 pounds.

• Estimated life span: Macaques (celebes, Japanese snow monkeys, rhesus, bonnet, pig-tail) up to 30 years; vervets about 13 years; baboons from 25 to 35 years.

• About their names: Each resident has a name, which they either arrived with or was randomly selected by the staff. Resident names are used for ID purposes, not to project human qualities onto a wild animal.

• Staff: There are seven staff members at the sanctuary including Director Tim Ajax, who has been running the sanctuary since February 2009.

• Most recent additions to the community: In February 2014, a Japanese macaque and a vervet monkey were rescued from deplorable conditions as someone's "pets" at a home in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In September 2013, nine female baboons, ages 13 to 23, arrived at the sanctuary after being retired from a research program at a national pharmaceutical laboratory in upstate New York.

• The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). More information at

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