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!

Retired from research

Published: 01/20/09

Winnie, a 15-year-old rhesus macaque, arrived at the Sanctuary this week. She came to us after having spent many years in a research laboratory. This is probably the first time she has ever been outdoors and experienced fresh air and sunshine.

When we released her into her new surroundings, it was sad to watch as she stumbled around. After years of living under laboratory conditions, she has poor muscle development and coordination. However, she is settling in well and has a good appetite. She particularly enjoys a forage mix of sunflower seeds and peanuts and crunchy vegetables such as celery and cauliflower.

She has also taken a keen interest in what is going on around her and has already started to communicate with a group of long-tailed macaques in an adjoining enclosure; two males from this group were themselves retired from a research laboratory.

The introduction of Loekey with Oscar, Ollie, and McKenzie has gone very well. The four boys are all getting along well and McKenzie and Loekey spend a great deal of time playing and grooming each other. This is really encouraging and we are pleased with our decision to persevere with the introduction.

Until next week,


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