Tim Ajax

Jan 2012 Rescue

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!

Authorities Swarm Mississippi Facility to Rescue 11 Animals

Published: 01/25/12

More January 2012 Rescue images
The macaque is sedated Jan. 25,
2012, the day of his rescue.
(Photo courtesy of HSUS)

(The following is a news release issued Jan. 25, 2012, by the Humane Society of the United States, which coordinated the rescue effort in which the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary is assuming lifetime care of an adult rhesus macaque.)

The Humane Society of the United States joined with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, Carolina Tiger Rescue, Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation and Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary to rescue 11 exotic animals from the Collins Zoo, an unaccredited roadside facility.

The rescue comes after HSUS conducted an in-depth undercover investigation and submitted legal complaints to the state documenting serious animal welfare issues as well as public safety concerns at the Collins Zoo. The MDWFP served a search and seizure warrant at the Collins, Miss. property that allowed them to seize three tigers, three cougars, two leopards, two wolf-hybrids and one Macaque monkey due to violations of state permit requirements.

The MDWFP has asked The HSUS to coordinate the temporary placement of these animals at qualified sanctuaries until a judge determines the custody of the animals. The HSUS has received permission from the MDWFP to transport these animals to several out-of-state sanctuaries. The HSUS will care for the three rescued tigers at its Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, operated in Texas by its affiliate The Fund for Animals, and the two wolf hybrids will also stay at Black Beauty Ranch until the animals’ custody is determined.

“The animals at the Collins Zoo have been forced to live in inhumane conditions for many years, and The Humane Society of the United States is relieved to finally be able to rescue these animals and help them begin new lives in appropriate sanctuaries,” said Lydia Sattler, Mississippi state director for The HSUS. “The situation at the unaccredited Collins Zoo is a prime example of the animal cruelty and public safety concerns that stem from our country’s unregulated exotic animal industry. This should be a wake-up call to lawmakers and communities around the country to crack down on the casual ownership of dangerous wild animals.”

In late 2009 The HSUS conducted an undercover investigation at Collins Zoo and then submitted legal complaints to the MDWFP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The investigation uncovered injured and malnourished animals and flimsy enclosures, including venomous snakes being held in unlocked enclosures accessible to the public. Since The HSUS’ investigation, conditions at the Collins Zoo remain poor.

When responders entered the property they found the animals housed in small pens with little space and no enrichment for these animals. These animals were underweight and suffering from a variety of medical ailments. The HSUS is providing animal handling, transportation and placement assistance for this rescue. Carolina Tiger Rescue of Pittsboro, N. C. will be providing sanctuary for one cougar and two leopards. Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation of Kendalia, Texas will house two of the seized cougars. Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary of Dilley, Texas will be providing sanctuary for the Macaque monkey.

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