Tim Ajax

Sanctuary Blog

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!


Meet the Macaques

From Animal Issues, Volume 39 Number 1, Spring 2008

Published: 03/31/08

Historically, the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary has been home to just one species of macaque — the Japanese macaque or snow monkey. Over the past couple of years, however, we have out of unfortunate necessity expanded our population to include other species of macaques. This is because of the large number of monkeys who need to be rescued, coupled with a dwindling number of available homes. As a result, we now have rhesus, long-tailed, pig-tailed, bonnet and crested black macaques.

Here are just a few individuals who are now residents of the Sanctuary — they are the lucky ones!

Amiya, a young female rhesus macaque, was kept as a “pet.” Raised in captivity and deprived of freedom and the companionship of others of her kind, Amiya now thoroughly enjoys her new life in a four-acre enclosure. She lives in a natural environment with trees and other vegetation with more than a hundred other macaques.

Florence, a four-year-old snow monkey who was kept in diapers, was given up after biting her “owner.” The rearing of wild monkeys in such an unnatural human setting is cruel and will almost invariably lead to dysfunctional and aggressive behavior. Since arriving at our Sanctuary in the summer, Florence has nevertheless flourished. After just a few weeks, we were able to introduce her to Teddy, Zach, Gilbert, and Justin, a newly formed social group (see “A Better Quality of Life,” Winter 2007). She has quickly formed a strong attachment to them and it is very rewarding to watch her socializing and playing with them and behaving like a monkey should. She has quickly formed a strong attachment to them, in particular Justin, with whom she regularly wrestles and plays tag. It is very rewarding to watch her socializing, grooming and playing with them and behaving like a monkey.

Joey and Bobbi, a black crested macaque and a long-tailed macaque respectively, came to the Sanctuary after their “owner” came to the difficult but correct decision that she could not provide them with the environment that monkeys need. They have both settled in well and are currently living in one of our large, semi-natural enclosures. Joey, an active and vocal individual, becomes very excited when interacting with other monkeys who live in surrounding enclosures. Bobbi is more relaxed and spends time grooming anyone who will have her.

You can help: Nowhere else in the USA gives rescued monkeys the kind of freedom and life we offer at the Primate Sanctuary. Every individual owes a debt of gratitude to supporters like you. Many monkeys arrive at the Sanctuary at a young age and, given that they might live up to 30 years, this is a long-term commitment for Born Free USA united with API. Will you help us meet that commitment? It costs just $2 a day to care for each animal. Help ensure they all enjoy a life worth living by “adopting” one of our residents. Contact Diana at (916) 447-3085 x215 or development@bornfreeusa.org.


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