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!

Cold Reality for the Monkeys

Published: 10/27/10

It seemed a little strange to be placing hay in sleeping quarters and checking heaters while sweating in 90-degree heat under a bright, blue, south Texas sky, but that’s exactly what we did today. The first true cold front of the season is on its way and is due to hit the sanctuary tomorrow. Temperatures are expected to hit the low 40s or upper 30s — a difference of almost 50 degrees from day to night. With the monkeys still in summer mode, this first front will be a little hard on them, so we’re taking some time to make it as easy on them as possible.

Bo munches on some peanuts.

Some of the recently rescued monkeys, including the long-tailed macaques, will be experiencing their first taste of arctic air after previously living in cages in homes or research facilities, and it will be interesting to watch their reactions. I’m especially curious to see how our latest rescue, Bo, will handle the change in weather.

Bo lived the first years of his life as a pet and wore diapers continuously until several months ago. Predictably, when Bo began to reach sexual maturity he attacked his “owner” several times, after which he was taken to a veterinarian to be humanely killed. Fortunately the veterinarian was able to move Bo to a temporary facility that then contacted Born Free USA to see if we could accommodate another monkey.

This young rhesus macaque is now living outside in a large area and is learning the monkey ropes under the watchful eyes of Theo, Elsie, Maude and Jasmine. He has a lot to learn — but plenty of time and the perfect place to study.

Until next time …

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