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!

The story of Art

Published: 11/05/08

Art, one of the longtail macaques who came to us from a laboratory earlier in the year, has started to wait for me at the gate to the longtail enclosure. Although nervous, his curiosity (and hunger, no doubt) get the better of him as he looks to see what food I am taking in each day for the group. He especially likes leafy lettuce and peanuts, so I try to make sure I have both. He also follows me around, at a “safe” distance, making appearances at the various food drop-off points. Art is one of the older longtails and spent 11 years in the laboratory before coming to us. Eleven years in a small metal cage and now he has the companionship of others in five acres of lush vegetation!

The baboon enclosure is nearby and many of the baboons will line up along the fence looking to see what food I have on the truck. They are mostly an impatient group and will show their displeasure if I make the “mistake” of feeding the longtail macaques before them. The baboons gorge their food over a very short period of time before moving off. Bruce, in particular, will take a bite out of one piece of fruit, abandon it and go for another, then abandon that for something else, all in rapid succession.

The newly established social group comprising Joey, India, Gilbert, Florence, Justin, Teddy, and Zach is doing well. Zach and Teddy continue to accept Joey as the dominant male which ensures a relatively stable group.

Until next week,


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