January 2011 Rescue
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!
The severe cold front that brought us ice, snow and arctic temperatures is a fading memory now as the push is on for spring. We’ve warmed up considerably and days of clear, blue, south Texas skies are stretching together. The days are really comfortable and the primates spend a good deal of time sunbathing. Grasses have started emerging from dormancy and it won’t be long until the area sheds off the dreary winter coat and comes alive with more attractive attire.
Traci Hanson, Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary's on-site manager, writes:
I have come to greatly admire the problem-solving abilities of the primates I have had the privilege to work with over the years.
Let me tell you the story of one such primate, the ex-pet snow monkey named Bella. You may have even seen her on TV. She brings a smile to my face to watch her from afar, and I am always surprised by her creativity. She is always playing with random stuff that she finds in her enclosure. One time she was rolling around two uneaten oranges, another time she was carrying a Kong dog toy about, still another time she was making noise banging a couple of pieces of untreated wood together.
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.