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!
Since so much of our energy is occupied taking care of the incredible primates here at the Sanctuary, we sometimes lose sight of another very important goal: educating the public on the plight of primates in the wild and in captivity, especially about why they don't make good pets (and of course, the good work we do here at the Sanctuary). This past week, we took the opportunity to connect with our human neighbors at the New Braunfels Public Library in New Braunfels, Texas.
Local primatologist Paula Pebsworth, a frequent collaborator with the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary, met with the local New Braunfels chapter of Roots and Shoots last Saturday to educate children and their parents about the important work we do here at the Sanctuary. Roots and Shoots, if you aren't familiar, is the brainchild of the famous primatologist and author, Jane Goodall. The mission of Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots program is to bring together youth from preschool to university age to work on environmental, conservation, and humanitarian issues in their own communities. The New Braunfels chapter of Roots and Shoots is no exception.
Youngsters, aged two-and-a-half to fourteen, gathered around as Paula gave a riveting talk about the primates at our Sanctuary. You could plainly see the shock and awe on their faces as they learned all about the monkeys who call Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary their home. Paula educated them on the Sanctuary's history, as well as how monkeys came to live here. After her presentation, all of the kids were eager to help the primates in any way that they could. Since Halloween is right around the corner, the kids decorated pumpkins with non-toxic paint that the primates can enjoy for enrichment!
Stay tuned for an update next week on how the monkeys reacted to their pretty pumpkins!