Tim Ajax

April 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!


Springtime for Samantha

Published: 04/20/11

Samantha's home for many years
before coming to the sanctuary.

In early April 2011, the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary welcomed a new resident: Samantha, a snow monkey who for many years had been kept as a caged, backyard “pet.” Tim Ajax, our sanctuary’s director, relayed these rescue road trip reports that we posted on our Facebook page:

Friday, April 8, 2:49 p.m. Primate rescue road trip! Over a day’s drive from the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary, a woman in Kansas needs potentially life-saving surgery. Her doctor’s orders are that she part with her “pet” snow monkey. At 25 years old, Samantha (the monkey) is considered elderly and this rescue will be stressful for both monkey and the human drivers. We’ll keep you posted on our Saving Samantha Road Trip — and how you can help!

Friday, 4:18 p.m. Our sanctuary’s veterinary technician, Traci Hanson, and her husband, Burl, just picked up Samantha the snow monkey and she’s now on the road to her new home. She’s calm and curious and has stood up several times to try to look out the window. Here’s hoping that’s a sign the trip will go even better than we hope! Still a ways to go, but we’re all feeling good.

Friday, 7:11 p.m. Traci, Burl and Samantha are moving through Kansas. Good news is that Samantha is still very calm. Traci and Burl have passed her some monkey biscuits and peanuts, but she seems more interested in what’s going on in the outside world. More good news as there will be so many new visions at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary for her to see — and many new things to do! We can't wait for them all to arrive safety.

Friday, 8:14 p.m. Our trio just stopped for a quick rest and some gas. Samantha got some assorted produce and looks like she’s picked out a tasty piece of tomato. Wonder what her favorite treat is? They hope to make central Oklahoma tonight — and will keep us updated.

Friday, 9:17 p.m. Just south of Wichita our road-trippers hit a big storm with golf ball-sized hail! They are waiting it out under a highway overpass. Sam just calmly popped a mint into her mouth. Now we know what one of her favorite treats is!

Friday, 11:37 p.m. After the storm, still with lightning in the distance, our little trooper Samantha was just chewing on a sweet potato! Our trio has called it a night south of the Oklahoma border. Samantha looked tired and ready for some sleep. They will hit the road tomorrow and will keep us posted! Pleasant dreams, Samantha ...

Saturday, 8:47 a.m. Our trio is just hitting the road after a night of severe weather including hail, high winds and tornadoes in the area. Sam got a little stressed but handled it well considering, along with the weather, her entire life is changing — we hope for the better! She’s heading down the highway to the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary, where she can live her golden years as free as she can be.

Saturday, 2:43 p.m. Yay! They just crossed the Texas border — “new” home sweet Texas for Sam! Beautiful weather, but heating up quickly ... that’s Texas, all right. Samantha reached out to touch Traci and let Traci groom her fingers. We hope that soon Sam will be able to do this with other non-human primates. Sometimes the ex-“pets” take the longest to learn how to just be a monkey. Soon we shall see ...

Saturday, 5:22 p.m. They just left Waco, and Burl’s in a driving mood so they’re pushing southbound all the way to the sanctuary — should arrive around 1 a.m. Our two drivers are getting excited and speculating what Samantha will think when she wakes up in the morning to all the monkey sights and sounds of the sanctuary. We wonder, too!

Sunday, 9:13 a.m. Our fearless trio made it to the sanctuary late last night and everyone was up first thing this morning to see Samantha take her first peak at the new world around her from behind the safety of her familiar toy, a bicycle tire. Now the harder trip begins — teaching her to just be a monkey.

Monday, 12:18 p.m. Not the end, but a new chapter: Samantha’s retirement years at our sanctuary. We have our work cut out for us as we help Sam learn what it’s like to be a monkey and not a “pet.” We are happy to take Samantha even though her ex-“owner” could not provide funds for her transport or future care, because we have caring people like you who can help Sam by giving through our Primate Sanctuary Rescue & Rehabilitation Fund. Thank you for your support!


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