January 2011 Rescue 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 severe cold front that brought us ice, snow and arctic temperatures is a fading memory now as the push is on for spring. We’ve warmed up considerably and days of clear, blue, south Texas skies are stretching together. The days are really comfortable and the primates spend a good deal of time sunbathing. Grasses have started emerging from dormancy and it won’t be long until the area sheds off the dreary winter coat and comes alive with more attractive attire.
We truly appreciate everyone’s support during our winter emergency. Folks came through for the monkeys and baboons in a big way as we received donations of heaters, miscellaneous supplies and, of course, monetary contributions. Thanks to you, everyone here pulled through the winter in good shape!
munches on a banana.
We welcome new arrival Bella to the sanctuary. She is a 7-year-old female Japanese macaque who is full of energy and has an engaging personality. Bella was purchased as an infant and reared as best as possible given that humans rather than her mother were raising her. As she matured she became increasingly aggressive, especially with other human females, and was becoming harder for the human male to handle.
The family realized that something had to be done about the situation and, most importantly, that the solution had to be in Bella’s best interest. Given our experience with snow monkeys, the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary was a perfect match and Bella was driven down from the frozen north to the warmth of south Texas. Before, Bella had been well cared for and had a large outside area where she often played in the snow, so there was no need on our part to worry about acclimatizing her. We placed her next to Bo and Elsie.
Bella is doing very well but having never been around other macaques she has a lot to learn, and squabbles between her and her neighbors break out occasionally. She particularly loves bananas (hint, hint) and spends quite a bit of time basking in the sun. As her life unfolds there will come the day when she bonds with another monkey — and her quality of life will take another positive step.