May 2008 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!
Sometimes, new residents aren't bothered by a little dirt in their new surroundings. Not long after a group of 31 long-tail macaques rescued from a laboratory arrived at the sanctuary, they started digging in the soil. Many of them splashed around in the mud and water after their water troughs had been emptied, prompting the sanctuary's human workers to make mud puddles for the monkeys to enjoy during hot Texas days. The primates got very excited and gathered around to drink, splash or simply sit in the water. By July, all the rescued macaques were living in the new 5-acre, free-range enclosure, spending afternoons relaxing, grooming each other, sleeping and lazing around in — you guessed it — the water and mud.
The longtail macaques who arrived from a research laboratory are making good progress. Although still cautious, the monkeys are visibly more relaxed in their new surroundings. They are playing with and chasing each other. There is a lot of play biting and grooming taking place which is so nice to watch. This week I have noticed that they are spending more time in the water. Many of them enjoy splashing around in the mud and water after their water troughs have been emptied. As a result, I have started to make mud puddles for them during the hot afternoons. They get very excited and gather around to drink, splash, or simply sit in the water.
The longtail macaques retired from a laboratory have been with us for more than five weeks. It has been wonderful to watch the progress they have made during that time. They now spend their afternoons relaxing, grooming each other, sleeping and lazing around in the water and mud. Some will just sit in the wet mud pools we make for them and splash around, fascinated with the water. After years of living under laboratory conditions, it is great to see how much they are enjoying their new environment.
The group of long-tailed macaques, who were retired from a research laboratory to our Sanctuary in May, has now been released into a 5-acre free-range enclosure. To think only 5 months ago, they were living in virtually barren, metal laboratory cages. Now they are living a natural life amidst acres of heavily wooded and other lush vegetation.
Freedom at last! Thanks to Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary, the retired long-tailed macaques we wrote to you about in May — who had spent years in a research laboratory —are finally living a natural life inside a 5-acre free-range enclosure dense with many trees and other lush vegetation.