The WAO Group
by Tim Ajax, Director
Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary
Some people monkey around a little, some people monkey around a lot, and then there's Tim. He's a prince among primates, presiding over hundreds of fellow bipeds in the often-brutal Texas outdoors. There's no ape escape for Tim and his crew, but no matter. They love to help macaques, baboons and vervets live out their lives with as much freedom as possible. And like peeling a banana, Tim's blogs take you to the good stuff inside — with a steady supplement of Texas weather updates, of course!
The happy ending of a two-year saga for 107 macaques and one baboon is finally here. In September, the last group of primates was successfully transported from their former home at the now-closed Wild Animal Orphanage (WAO) in San Antonio, TX, to their new home at the 186-acre Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Dilley, TX. Now, as the year comes to an end, Born Free USA reports that the animals are all adjusting and settling into their spacious digs — the place they will call home for the rest of their lives.
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(Photograph by Tim Ajax)
We were more than a little nervous about the introduction. Elvis had been through a tremendous amount of upheaval and instability in his short life, and we weren’t certain that his soon-to-be-roommate would be accepting of him. Both of these primates are victims of the exotic “pet” trade and were stolen from their biological mothers when only a few days old. They were then unnaturally reared by humans who thought they were “cute.”
Just over a year ago, we completed the transfer of 107 primates from the bankrupt Wild Animal Orphanage (WAO) to the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary. This huge undertaking was a tremendous challenge for everyone involved, and we endured many sleepless nights, our minds churning with how to best assimilate all of these monkeys into our already busy sanctuary. The largest single primate rescue in this country came off without a hitch, and it’s hard to believe that a year has already passed since they bolted out of their transport crates into the south Texas sun.