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!


New Director, Same Direction

From Animal Issues, Volume 40 Number 1, Spring 2009

Published: 03/16/09

Tim and MollyI first volunteered at a sanctuary 18 years ago, starting out cleaning enclosures that housed rehabilitating animals. Soon enough I was serving as Assistant Director, Volunteer Coordinator, Safety Manager, and more. I cleaned cages (some things never change), assisted veterinarians, reared and rehabilitated native wild animals for release, developed protocols, conducted training, and designed and built enclosures.

In the process I learned that captive animals need ample room, a natural environment, and a dignified existence. The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary exemplifies that same ethic, and as the new Director I’m excited about further improving the excellent care our residents already receive. New enclosures, innovative enrichment, and infrastructure upgrades are already planned.

We’ll be providing more primates a new life unique in the sanctuary world, making sure they have an opportunity to experience what has been denied them: freedom of movement, freedom to associate with others and freedom to just be.

Thanks, Ned and Sarah

For more than 5 years the lives of the animals at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary have been made better by the hard work of two highly dedicated individuals: Ned Buyukmihci and Sarah Kite. They have ensured the highest quality of care for those in their charge. Only we who have been “in the trenches” know truly just how much energy, forbearance, dedication, and heart has been required of these two. They’ve put the Sanctuary on a path that will continue to provide a high standard of compassionate care to hundreds of primates for years to come.

All of us at Born Free USA united with API extend our thanks to Ned and Sarah, and wish them happiness and fulfillment as they continue their journey.

Baboon Enclosure

Two and a half acres. Most homes occupy about one quarter of one acre. Try this experiment: Go outside and count 10 homes in your area and look at the total space they occupy. That’s a nice sized area and that’s how much our baboons have to roam in their new enclosure. Filled with natural vegetation, this large enclosure allows them to occupy their days foraging, investigating, and socializing — similar to their free-roaming counterparts in Africa. We thank these foundations for their generosity in ensuring that our baboons are “as free as can be”:

  • Ahimsa Foundation
  • James A. “Buddy” Davidson Foundation
  • Max & Victoria Dreyfus Foundation
  • Edith H. Hahn Animal and Wildlife Preservation Fund of the Lutheran Community Foundation
  • The Glide Foundation
  • Communities Foundation of Texas

You Can Help: Consider adopting a primate today. For just $1 a week your generosity and compassion will provide year-long benefits, ensuring that the unique, quality care we deliver will continue for many years to come. As a Primate Adopter you will receive exclusive bulletins and status updates about our primates, including the latest photographs. Find out more at www.bornfreeusa.org/adoption.

PS If you can’t afford to adopt a primate right now please consider making a small one-time donation — every dollar helps!


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