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!

Mesquite bounty

Published: 06/11/08

It has been a hot and humid week, broken up with an unfortunately brief shower of rain. As a result, spending time in the water and eating ice cubes have been popular past times for many of the monkeys. For others, the availability of mesquite beans has been enthusiastically welcomed.

The monkeys enjoy foraging on the natural vegetation in their enclosures and mesquite trees are now awash with ripe beans, a natural break from the shipped-in fruits and vegetables. So that no one is left out, we have been picking beans off trees and handing them out to those individuals who are not yet living in the free-range enclosures. Many of the monkeys choose the beans over other items such as bananas and peanuts, probably because of their seasonal novelty; there is a chorus of excited sounds as I walk around the semi-natural enclosures with armfuls of beans.

Boon continues to do well. We make a special effort to give him lots of mangoes and peanuts, two of his favorite foods. We can usually only do this when he is alone and especially when there are no hamadryas baboons around. The hamadryas are by far the more dominant of the baboons particularly at feeding time and will chase others away if food such as peanuts are on offer.

Until next week,


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