July 2010 Rescue
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!
When one door closes, another one opens, and the transition can be a wonderful thing. Following the closing of an East Coast pharmaceutical laboratory, 15 long-tailed macaques received a second chance at life — a peaceful retirement at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary. They arrived on Saturday, July 17, safe and sound after a 1,700-mile journey. The monkeys, all males weighing between 9 and 15 pounds and younger than 6 (long-tail macaques can live up to 30 years), initially were evaluated in temporary cages in a climate-controlled room. Soon after, Sanctuary Director Tim Ajax began the slow, delicate task of transitioning the rescues to a 5-acre enclosure with trees, grass and lots of other macaques.
This summer has turned out to be abnormally humid, although the temperatures have been comparatively moderate. Everything remains lush from the rains we received from hurricane Alex and a tropical storm that followed shortly after. While the Rio Grande Valley suffered from flooding, we made it through with a few inches of rain which hit at just the right time to keep everything growing. All-in-all, the conditions are just right for our residents, which include some exciting new arrivals!
You never know how long it might take. You never know for certain what the right trigger will be. For many, it’s as simple as a change of environment and the opportunity to forge new alliances. For others, the road can be difficult and long.
Traci Hanson, Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary's on-site manager, writes:
dirt at the south Texas sanctuary.
You might remember that back in July 2010 we rescued a group of long-tail macaques from a life spent in an East Coast laboratory. I am happy to report that today, they are doing well.
Shortly after their arrival, with the help of a vet, we neutered all of them. Currently they are housed in several of our semi-natural enclosures in small groups of four or five. After some minor quarrels within each group to establish the hierarchy, everyone has settled in.