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With ample rainfall over the winter and moderate temperatures for spring we had quite a show here. The diversity of plant life was impressive and the colors were brilliant. Everywhere we looked seas of yellow, orange, purple and red dominated the landscape providing plenty of stimulation for the monkeys and critical habitat for the native species. Even the trees got into the act with fresh-leaved mesquites glowing neon green.
2010 has gotten off to a very cold start. In fact, it has been one of the coldest winters in more than ten years here. For several nights in a row we had temperatures hovering in the teens and while the baboons shivered and the snow monkeys snuggled for warmth, staff worked hard to make sure everyone had plenty of hay and heat for the more sensitive primates. Pipes froze, the ground crackled underfoot, and the small ponds iced over.
From Animal Issues, Volume 40 Number 4, Winter 2009
Throughout the long, tough summer we managed to get quite a bit done for the Sanctuary. But activity really picked up as Fall brought cooler temperatures and better working conditions. There were two main issues on our plate that we were determined to push through and I’m happy to say we’ve had great success, thanks in large part to our hard-working staff and the generosity of our supporters and foundations.
Relief from the unusually hot and dry summer has arrived. Daytime highs in the low 80s and overnight lows in the upper 50s make it very pleasant. With some good rainfall in October the area has turned lush and we stay busy keeping fence-lines mowed and doing our best to catch up on smaller projects.
From Animal Issues, Volume 40 Number 3, Fall 2009
The past 8 to 12 months have certainly been very busy at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary. As I told you when I introduced myself, we recently completed a new, lush 2.5 acre enclosure for our group of baboons. Initially, I was most concerned about one of our older olive baboons, Boon, and his adjustment to the new surroundings following the 2008 death of his longtime companion, Holly. But Boon is thriving and when he’s not busy roaming the dense underbrush foraging for snacks he can be found perched stoically atop a large fallen tree — free to be a baboon.
Week after week of triple digit temperatures and less than one quarter of an inch of rain has left the entire area dry and dusty and it’s suddenly easy to visualize how deserts are formed. Fortunately our wells are still operating and the monkeys have become conditioned to the hotter weather and are all but finished with their seasonal molt.
June has been extremely hot with temperatures well above normal and no rain for relief. The grasses have dried and things a look a little barren but that’s to be expected with temperatures in the 100s week after week. Fortunately the mesquite and huisache continue to provide shade and show their hardiness as do the monkeys.
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