About The Sanctuary
The Primate Sanctuary is a division of Born Free USA. Our mission is to provide nonhuman primates as high a quality of life as we can, with as little human interference as needed to maintain their proper care. The 186-acre sanctuary, located near San Antonio, Texas, is home to more than 600 individuals, many of whom were rescued from abusive or exploitative situations.
The wind came roaring through the scrub and mesquite last night, picking up loose soil and sandblasting everything in its path. The temperature dropped suddenly and what was a pleasant fifty-degree night quickly turned into a dark, shivering ordeal as monkeys scrambled for their shelters.
On Saturday, January 18, a young spider monkey named Brodi was humanely killed in Ohio in order to send his head off for rabies testing, despite the fact that he had recently received a rabies vaccination. His crime was having bitten the thumb of an employee at a car dealership who reached into a vehicle (with permission) to pet the monkey. State law requires the testing to be performed when the animal involved is not domesticated and, unfortunately, there are currently no reliable alternatives to directly testing the brain for the disease. A very sad ending for a very young life, especially considering several accredited sanctuaries reached out to officials with the offer of quarantine and life-long care for him. Sad as it is, the reality is that his unnatural death was a mostly predictable conclusion to a very unnatural life.
As you likely know, the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary is home to more than 600 nonhuman primates ranging widely in age, size, and species which include macaques, baboons, and vervets. What you might not know about the Sanctuary is that it is also home to many other non-primate animals.
The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary is home to more than 600 primates and, while the majority of the inhabitants are macaques, it is also home to 22 baboons. These incredible primates are notable not only for their distinct looks, but also for their unique personalities. Two of the most endearing characters are Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley, two young male baboons who seem to have a never-ending supply of energy and a predisposition for mischief. They are quick to investigate anything new, whether it’s something added to their enclosure or an unusual sound. No blade of grass, insect, or flower escapes their notice and subsequent harassment, to the point of wearing everything (and everyone) out around them. Fortunately, our newest baboon residents are much more relaxed and easy going.
Just over a year ago, we completed the transfer of 107 primates from the bankrupt Wild Animal Orphanage (WAO) to the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary. This huge undertaking was a tremendous challenge for everyone involved, and we endured many sleepless nights, our minds churning with how to best assimilate all of these monkeys into our already busy sanctuary. The largest single primate rescue in this country came off without a hitch, and it’s hard to believe that a year has already passed since they bolted out of their transport crates into the south Texas sun.
In our last rescue update, I shared the story of the "lucky nine" baboons who had just arrived at the Sanctuary in September. These nine females—Pearl, Missy, Chloe, April, Friendly, Spicey, Brooke, Kennedy, and Lulu, ages 13-23—were recently retired from a New York laboratory research program. Until their move to the Sanctuary, the baboons had spent nearly their entire lives in separate cages, and hadn't experienced the outdoors.