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!
(Click to see an enlarged version.)
After the veterinarian was delayed for a week we had a decision to make. It seems Freeman just about had had his fill of being in a quarantine cage and started acting stressed. Each day staff members carefully transferred him to clean quarters and each day Freeman took longer and longer to exit the transfer cage back into his quarantine cage.
Then he started posturing at staff members and threatening them each time they operated the little transfer gate. When he started actually grabbing at them and then pacing, we knew something needed to be done for his sake. Fortunately our new transition enclosure (funded by The Body Shop!) was nearing completion and he could have a section all to himself and maintain his quarantine while we waited for the veterinarian.
Freeman immediately went into the transfer cage and then started threatening us. He must have assumed he was going back into his quarantine cage. His entire disposition changed when we gently placed him in the back of the pickup truck for the quick trip over to the transition enclosure. He forgot about menacing us and stood up trying to see everything at once, with his head on a swivel.
As he slowly exited the cage he looked around carefully — grass, open space and other monkeys across the way were all new experiences for him and he was being very tentative. He made his way deliberately around the enclosure, his underdeveloped legs moving stiffly and carefully. He was careful to not look too long at the other monkeys as he investigated his wading pool and feeding area. The grass was a new experience for him and he would stop and pick up one of his feet and look at the bottom, seeming to wonder at the new feeling.
As he gains in strength and endurance we’ll add more climbing structures for him, preparing for the day when he can join the other long-tails living in relative freedom.
Until next time,