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!
From Animal Issues, Volume 37 Number 3, Fall 2006
We’ve undertaken plenty of projects here at the Sanctuary lately aimed at helping the primates who live here have the most natural and enriched life possible.
One of our most recent projects was building a new, free-range natural enclosure of several acres to accommodate several groups of monkeys who needed to be relocated from other enclosures. The enclosure is a new design that, although open-topped, does not depend on electricity to keep in the monkeys. We first designed a prototype and tested it to be sure it worked. After this, it took several months to build the actual enclosure. Once built, Sanctuary staff then established water lines, built water platforms and climbing structures, and made several dens out of indigenous trees and other vegetation. We then began the task of moving the monkeys into their new home. This took several weeks to complete, as each monkey had to be coaxed into a transfer facility and then moved into the new enclosure.
Despite the disparate backgrounds of these monkeys, all appear to be doing very well in this new habitat. Some of the monkeys had been “rejected” by others with whom they lived previously, but have found new friends here. We are hopeful that this sort of bonding will continue.
API is continually looking for ways to improve the quality of life for our Sanctuary residents. We now have a number of small social groups of rescued monkeys who are waiting to move from semi-natural enclosures into a free-ranging environment based on our new design. Such enclosures, however, are expensive to build.
While we continue to seek grants from foundations to help us with these important changes and upgrades, we must also rely on the generosity of our members to help bring these plans to fruition.
Donations on behalf of the Sanctuary are always needed. No donation is too small, and each and every dollar is truly appreciated. While we are proud of what we have accomplished for the residents of our Sanctuary in the past few years, there is always more to do!
The API Primate Sanctuary is unique among other U.S sanctuaries. It is one of the very few that provide large, free-ranging, natural enclosures. Such enclosures allow the primates the space and freedom that many were denied when they were kept as “pets,” research “tools,” and “attractions.” Here, they also have lifestyle choices never before available to them.
You can learn more about the goings-on at the Sanctuary and about Sanctuary residents at www.api4primates.org or by calling API at (800) 348-7387.