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!
Another busy week! We have been building dens from freshly pruned tree branches for some of the semi-natural enclosures. These provide the monkeys with additional natural enrichment.
Although initially cautious, the monkeys’ natural inquisitiveness took over and they soon checked out their new dens and the lush vegetation. Chattering to each other, they excitedly ran around, peering inside before starting to focus on the leaves. The bonnet macaques in particular enjoy picking and eating leaves as well as stripping bark off the branches.
Feeding more than 500 monkeys is costly. Each week we spend around $2,000 on food to provide the monkeys with a nourishing and varied diet. This includes fresh fruit and vegetables, sunflower seeds and peanuts as well as a commercial monkey biscuit.
For all the monkeys, bananas are the most popular food item and we buy thousands of them each week. Unfortunately, they have gone up in price substantially over the last few weeks. As a result, we are spending an extra $200 per week on bananas alone. The monkeys enjoy them too much, however, for us to ever consider reducing our weekly quota.
Until next week,