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!
We are sad to announce the death of Tucson, one of our “adoptable” primates. He died peacefully in his sleep at our Sanctuary.
Tucson had been at the API Primate Sanctuary for a number of years. Although we do not have information on his date of birth, we do know he was elderly and had been one of our long-term residents. Prior to his arrival at our Sanctuary, he had been kept as an “attraction” in a shopping mall. Most of his teeth had been removed to make him less “dangerous” to shoppers and others.
At the Sanctuary, Tucson lived in one of our large semi-natural enclosures with six other snow monkeys, including three other elderly males like himself. He had a special friendship with a female called Sassie and the two could often be seen grooming each other. Tucson had a gentle manner and was always pleased to greet his human caregivers, especially if they had a treat for him such as a granola bar. He will always be remembered for his fondness of food and how selective he was with the choices offered him.
As with all our rescued monkeys, we are pleased that we were able to offer Tucson a “retirement” free from human exploitation and an opportunity to live in a natural environment with others of his kind. He was a very special individual and we will miss him dearly.
Running a sanctuary has its immense rewards. We have to balance this, however, against the fact that all of our residents will eventually die. Unfortunately, we cannot give our residents the gift of everlasting life. What we can do is ensure them a life free from suffering and exploitation, with the care and respect they need, during their time with us.