The First Batch of WAO Macaques Arrives!

Published: 07/26/12

Here's how the Wild Animal Orphanage (WAO) Group rescue's first stage unfolded, as told by sanctuary Direct Tim Ajax:

More images of The WAO Group.
Watch videos of the rescue!
One of the new arrivals on July 25, 2012.
(Photo by Tim Ajax)

Wednesday, July 25: Some exciting news from our Primate Sanctuary in south Texas! The first move of 10 stump-tailed macaques (out of the 107 we will welcome to our sanctuary in the coming weeks from the bankrupt Wild Animal Orphanage) went like clockwork and everyone came through in great shape.

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Born Free USA Begins Mass Transfer of Macaques from Bankrupt Sanctuary

Published: 07/23/12

The happy ending of a two-year saga for 106 macaques and one baboon is finally here. On Wednesday (July 25) the first group of these animals — 10 stump-tailed macaques — are scheduled to be transported from their former home at the now-closed Wild Animal Orphanage (WAO) in San Antonio to their new home at the 186-acre Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary, about an hour away.

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Freeman Update (Mid-June 2012)

Published: 06/21/12

After the veterinarian was delayed for a week we had a decision to make. It seems Freeman just about had had his fill of being in a quarantine cage and started acting stressed. Each day staff members carefully transferred him to clean quarters and each day Freeman took longer and longer to exit the transfer cage back into his quarantine cage.

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JR Becomes a Freeman

Published: 06/01/12

Extra food and water were packed for the long trip and there wasn’t a single doubt in Sandy’s mind about what lay ahead of them: a no-rest, grueling, 28-hour drive from Michigan to South Texas. Accompanied by her friend Ruth, the plan was to alternate behind the wheel to keep them fresh for the long trek and allow one of them to keep a close eye on their precious cargo. There was a lot to worry about but there was much to be gained, so they pushed on with determination. From the back of the black truck JR looked out the windows and watched entire worlds go by in the blink of an eye.

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Spring, and a Construction Crew, Arrive

Published: 03/23/12

Spring has arrived in all its glory, and with recent drought-quenching rains the sanctuary is busy with the colors and sounds of nature — and construction.

Work has begun in earnest as we prepare for the arrival of the primates from the bankrupt Wild Animal Orphanage in nearby San Antonio. More than 100 monkeys and one baboon soon will be transferred to their new home in south Texas.

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Authorities Swarm Mississippi Facility to Rescue 11 Animals

Published: 01/25/12

More January 2012 Rescue images
The macaque is sedated Jan. 25,
2012, the day of his rescue.
(Photo courtesy of HSUS)

(The following is a news release issued Jan. 25, 2012, by the Humane Society of the United States, which coordinated the rescue effort in which the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary is assuming lifetime care of an adult rhesus macaque.)

The Humane Society of the United States joined with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, Carolina Tiger Rescue, Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation and Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary to rescue 11 exotic animals from the Collins Zoo, an unaccredited roadside facility.

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Mississippi Macaque Rescued!

Published: 01/25/12

More January 2012 Rescue images
The macaque before his rescue.
(Photo courtesy of HSUS)

A monkey in Mississippi, long subjected to absolute misery in a cage, on Jan. 25, 2012, began an incredible journey toward living in open spaces along with members of his own species at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary.

Our friends at The Humane Society of the United States came across this adult male rhesus macaque after conducting an undercover investigation of the Collins Zoo, where they documented deplorable conditions. The monkey — currently unnamed — was confined to a small cage (watch him frantically pace in the tiny enclosure). Lions, tigers and other exotic animals exhibited signs of malnourishment and neglect, and venomous snakes were held in unsecured enclosures. A black wolf, whom the investigator pointed out to zoo owners as needing veterinary care, was not treated and a few days later died.

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Do or Die for the WAO Group

Born Free USA To Rescue More Than 100 Animals

Published: 12/08/11

More images of The WAO Group.
Watch videos of the rescue!
Chappy, a crab-eating macaque,
will live at the Primate Sanctuary!
(Photograph courtesy of
and by Michelle Reininger)

(This story appears in the fall/winter 2011 issue of Born Free USA's Animal Issues Digest.)

Fifi, a rhesus macaque, had been a "pet" in a tiny cage in her owner's New York City basement. Her tail was amputated, probably to facilitate putting diapers on her. Chappy, a crab-eating macaque, was a biomedical research subject; the stress of life in the lab led him to pluck his body bald. Dex, a stumptail macaque, also exploited for research, has only his thumb and index finger on his right hand.

Fifi and Chappy and Dex (and Maddie and Leo and Stiggy and dozens of other monkeys) all suffered from the start. But thanks to the caregivers at the Wild Animal Orphanage (WAO) in San Antonio, Texas, they were able to experience comparative freedom from their former abhorrent confinement.

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