Primarily Primates Newsletter
Birds Spread Their Wings At Their New Home
For 47 birds—ten conures, 31 cockatiels and six ring-neck doves—this new year is looking a lot brighter. All of them came to live in Primarily Primates’ state-of-the-art aviaries on December 24, 2008.
The birds arrived from a California sanctuary that’s been hit hard by the economic crisis, forcing the closing of its aviary doors.
Primarily Primates’ aviaries have all been renovated; the settings are very large and natural, with lots of open space and room for birds to fly freely. They range in size from 12 x 10 x 40-foot for the smaller birds to 60 x 20 x 100-foot for the larger ones, featuring branches and trees for perching and spacious indoor sleeping spaces. The enclosures offer exposure to warm sunlight and protection from the elements. Here they will enjoy a naturalistic habitat shared with members of their own species.
Some of the birds suffer from feather-plucking behaviors, which can result from being kept as pets in cages. A few of them have physical disabilities, such as missing limbs, which will require special attention and care. The staff at PPI is hopeful that good care and a spacious living environment might help eliminate behaviors that were induced by stress.
Chief, a Ring-tailed Lemur, Arrives from Corpus Christi
Kept illegally and found running loose, a 2½ year old ring-tailed lemur named Chief arrived in February from Corpus Christi Animal Control. His owner was identified, but had decided he didn’t want Chief.
While living with his former owners, Chief broke his arm. We don’t know how or when, but they had taken him to a veterinarian who put a pin/wire in his arm. But the owners never took him back to have the pin removed. Corpus Christi Animal Control had the pin removed before transfer to Primarily Primates, but Chief still cannot use his arm. So, for now, he gets around on three limbs. The owners also had Chief’s canine teeth removed.
Welcome to Febe, a Java Macaque
Late last September we received this email message:
“I have a five year old Java Macaque named Febe. I am very close to her, as she is to me since I raised her from birth. This past year I have really started to feel bad for her. I own my own business and can’t always give her the attention she needs. Also, the older she gets, the more aggressive and unpredictable she is. She is a sweetheart to me and other adults, but very unpredictable with younger kids and teens. I wish she was in a huge enclosure with friends and things to keep her busy. I think she is lonely. She just paces back and forth nonstop in her cage while I’m gone. My only worry is that she isn’t very social with other monkeys. She has been around them on several occasions and is frightened by them. She just wants human affection. Does that mean she would never be happy in a camp like yours? How does Primarily Primates feel about adopting pets? ! What are the enclosures and life of the java macaques like?”
Primarily Primates replied that at Primarily Primates Febe would learn how to be a monkey and would indeed be happy living in a habitat with other monkeys, and that we would accept Febe. But Febe’s owner was just not ready yet to part with her.
We received another email message in December:
“I have been wanting to get in touch with you again . . . I believe I have fully decided to give her up now . . . I love her so much, but with approaching cold temperatures, and my crazy work schedule . . . I don’t have the time to keep her indoors and change diapers all day. The longer I put this off the more sad I am for her . . . I know this is the right thing to do and am ready to commit.”
In January, Febe was starting to self-mutilate. According to her owner, Febe had bitten a chunk of flesh out of her tail.
Febe arrived in February. Febe’s owner wrote: “I love what you guys are doing. I wish more people knew how cruel it was to raise a monkey as a pet. I was definitely misinformed of the responsibilities and consequences.”
Two Rhesus Macaques, Morgan and Zach, Settle In
A university in the eastern U.S. decided to release Morgan and Zach, two 20 year-old male rhesus macaques who they had used in medical research. Morgan and Zach arrived in the fall.
Coco and Junior Find a Good Home
Two lemurs, Coco and Junior, both 2½ years old, were released to Primarily Primates in October. The lemurs had been donated to a college by private individuals who claimed they were worth thousands of dollars. The Texas college decided rather than selling the lemurs they were more interested in finding them a good home. The college selected Primarily Primates and the two young primates arrived in October.
The Last Time I Saw Those Sunglasses.
UPDATE FROM PRISCILLA FERAL, PRESIDENT
During January’s visit to Primarily Primates I heard it was time to bond with fourteen of the refuge’s spider monkeys. (Word was out: I’d been spending an inordinate amount of time with the lemurs.)
So I got on friendlier terms with an 18-year-old spider monkey named Ian, who arrived as an infant from a Louisiana zoo after suffering a bite. With a shorter-than-normal tail, Ian was deemed unfit for display.
Red-haired rosie, now aged 27, arrived as a cast-off pet in 1996, and nine-year-old WC appeared in 2002 with seven other spider monkeys from a dwelling in Jacksonville, Florida.
Recently, the sanctuary lost Jumper, a gentle, blue-eyed spider monkey in her late thirties who had always captured lots of my attention. I brought her treats each day to keep her weight higher and because she loved them. Jumper died of old age; with her passing, new social groups (and living areas to support them) are being designed. Jumper’s closest friend, Suzy-Q, has been successfully introduced to the active, wiry Zachary, another black-handed spider monkey. released from a research lab years ago, Zachary had resisted social groups with male monkeys.
The sanctuary’s workers have been building large bedrooms and an expanded (40 x 40 x 40foot) living area. WC’s group of seven spider monkeys—in varying shades of ginger, golden brown, dark brown and black—will then have an arboreal habitat, featuring a Southern live oak with cascading branches that provide a canopy of speckled light. With one-armed strides, using their 35-inch muscular tails as extra hands, they like swinging, climbing, and suspending themselves.
Michael, who oversees the monkeys’ care, says WC’s group, which includes rosie, Ian, and four others, will thrive in their wooded habitat, and might well be too happy with the high oak to come down. So the move is planned for the springtime, when San Antonio’s evening temperatures warm. The monkeys will be encouraged to come down for nuts, fruit and other food.
My bonding episodes included offering buckets of apples and sweet potato slices within reach of the spider monkeys’ long, spindly limbs. excitedly they searched the bucket with their four-fingered hands to pick their fruits. enthusiasm spiked when I reappeared with a red bucket full of peanuts. This time, Mike advised me to toss peanuts overhead rather than hold a bucket for selections. This I did, and one spider monkey remained on a high perch, declining to join the peanut-eating festival. Curious, I moved closer.
I felt a jolt to the peanut bucket, which tipped, spilling a third of its contents on the ground. I jumped back, looking down at the scattered peanuts, and my prescription sunglasses fell. Instantly, WC possessed the glasses that once were mine. WC’s glee over seizing the sunglasses would obviously exceed my despair over their destruction. WC rubbed the prize up and down his chest before dismantling the frame and chewing on the shatter-proof lenses. I had to walk away so Mike could persuade WC to part with the mangled glasses.
In the rainforests of Central and South America, spider monkeys live about 27 years. Their habitat is shrinking due to the conversion of forests into plantations and the cattle- grazing. On top of it all, hunters stalk the monkeys.
Without private sanctuaries to offer safe spaces for apes, monkeys, lemurs, birds and others formerly caught up in trading, kept as pets or for zoo exhibits or for show business, or used in experiments, animals remain trapped for life. Until our society insists on genuine respect for primates and other animals, refuges need to exist, and to be supported.
One chimpanzee at Primarily Primates is 31-year-old Wanda, who in the mid-eighties was confiscated from a brothel in Philadelphia. After she punched through a wall with unsuspecting humans on the other side, the police were called. But they didn’t save Wanda. The young ape was delivered to a research lab. Not for another ten years would Wanda and eleven other chimpanzees get to the sanctuary. This group includes several older ones who are still alive: raisin, Oliver, Carmen, Buffy, April, Abendago and Beauregard.
Before I flew back home from Texas, we received the following e-mail. It’s copied exactly as it was received.
I have 2 monkeys that need a permanent home at a sanctuary. I have a female rhesus (Lucy) that is almost 5. She is very aggressive. She would do well with a large dominant male. She has injured other females and a male that was smaller than her.
I also have a 20 year-old male rhesus (Jeremy) that is neutered. He is very docile. He lived with a female for 3 years (before I got him). The female got out and was killed by a dog. They both live in 15 x 30 cages. They just need a permanent home, and I do not want the female to go to a breeder.
Please let me know if you can help. Thank you.
Primarily Primates Builds A Better Future For Animals
UPDATE FROM STEPHEN RENE TELLO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Dear Friend of Primarily Primates,
Since our last newsletter, our sanctuary has been kept busy with new rescue cases. We’ve taken in 47 birds, a Java macaque, 3 lemurs, and 2 rhesus macaques. By the time you read this, another rhesus macaque and a galago (“bush baby”) are expected.
By investing in our work, you make it possible for us to create new habitats, serve all of our animals a nutritious variety of foods, afford top quality veterinary medical care, and provide daily upkeep. We put your gifts to work directly for the animals.
And if you can help us, please do. Today as I write, a major San Antonio newspaper is laying off writers. One was going to interview me and Priscilla Feral, our board president, this week. It would have brought us support, but it’s not happening, due to a very harsh economic reality.
We are committed to making sure, however, that our primates and other residents will not know anything but calm and peace. Support us today with your kind donation.
Other Ways You Can Help:
Become a Sanctuary Partner
Sanctuary Partners provide urgently needed monthly support that helps Primarily Primates pay for vegetables and fruits, nutritional supplements, veterinary medical care, daily maintenance of living spaces, and a large animal care staff. Fruits and vegetables cost us $800 each week and are necessary for the good health of many of our animals.
By pledging a monthly gift, you’ll provide constant sponsorship for the animals in one of our many animal communities, from chimpanzees to birds. As a Sanctuary Partner, you’ll receive a videodisk of the animal community you’ve chosen to support. See the reply envelope for various support options and how to sign up.
Remembering Primarily Primates in Your Will
It’s a fact: Many of our nonhuman residents will outlive many of us. Including Primarily Primates in your estate plans is a way to continue providing security and care for the animals living in our sanctuary.
You and your attorney will need our tax ID number: 74-2164756. Our legal name is Primarily Primates, Incorporated, and we are classified as a 501(c)3 charity by the Internal revenue Service. If you have questions about including us in your will, or need additional information, please call our office or include a note in your donation envelope.
Life Insurance Policies
By naming Primarily Primates as a primary or contingent beneficiary of a new or existing life insurance policy you can turn a relatively small expense into a dramatically larger one. For older donors, a paid-in-full policy that is no longer needed also makes an excellent gift.
Real Estate Gifts
By making an outright gift or a bequest of your home, vacation home, commercial building, land, or other real property, you might be able to reduce estate or capital gains taxes. Always check with your accountant or attorney before making these decisions.
Our animal care staff asked for the following items to help them do a better job for the animals in their care. You can buy and ship these items to Primarily Primates, or if there is a Home Depot or H.e.B store near you, a gift card will work just as well and it saves the shipping expense.
Chainsaws, drills, paint-roller sets, riding lawnmower, wheelbarrows, shovels (roundhead and flathead), unsalted and unshelled peanuts, dried fruit, coastal hay, alfalfa hay, soft towels, baby blankets, and parrot toys.
Online Donations Are A Great Way to Help
Now you can receive your newsletter and other important sanctuary alerts by email. Just go to our home page (www. primarilyprimates.org) and click on the “Free e-newsletter” sidebar, which will take you to a page to sign up.
And for donors who prefer the convenience of making a secure online gift, this can also be done on our website. While you are there you can watch over 40 wonderful videos of the animals in whose future you’re investing.
Thank you so much for your support and for being part of our lifesaving team.
Stephen Rene Tello
- Kecko’s Story
Who Is a Lemur, and Why Would One Live in Texas?
- Sun and Wind Provide Power for Primarily Primates - Fall 2008
- Update: The Emma and Jackson Custody Case Closes - June 2008
- What’s New at Primarily Primates
Updates from Priscilla Feral and Stephen Rene Tello - February 2008
- Dear Friend of Primarily Primates: - December 5, 2007
- New Direction; New Hope: Welcome Message and Sanctuary Updates from Stephen R. Tello, Executive Director of PPI - June 28, 2007