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!
Over two and a half years ago (though it only seems like yesterday), Bella, a young female snow monkey, arrived at the Sanctuary. Though well cared for by her guardian, she had become intolerably aggressive toward other family members and was especially jealous of human females. Bella behaved the same way at the Sanctuary, getting along fine with the female caretakers until a human male came into view—and then becoming highly aggressive toward those females. She routinely fought with other monkeys through the fence, and depended on our daily interactions with her for self-assurance.
In the last several months, we’ve seen a change in Bella’s disposition. She now only rarely craves our attention, has grown more aloof, and spends a significant amount of time with an older male living next to her named Theo, a rhesus macaque once utilized in research. Was Bella turning the corner on her way to becoming a normal, well-adjusted monkey?
After witnessing multiple grooming sessions between Bella and Theo, and taking into account her decreased dependence on human interaction, we decided to move them in together.
Patience seems to have paid off as Bella and Theo have been seen together frequently over the last several days, and her previous aggression toward others seems to be diminishing. We once hoped that beautiful Bella would immediately find a monkey partner, but that wasn’t to be the case. Instead, she adjusted on her own schedule, and though two and a half years may seem like a long wait, we’ll take a happy ending any time, every time.