Primarily Primates Newsletter
Needing You More Than Ever
It costs a lot of money to provide lifetime care to our more than 400 residents. You’ll be happy to know that 90% of Primarily Primates’ expenses go directly to animal feed, housing, care staff, medical care and public education. We don’t hire fundraising experts or burden our readers with direct-mail departments.
But we do rely on you. Fresh produce for our residents typically costs $800 per week. Local farmers offer it at a greatly reduced cost. Sometimes we get donations of produce, too. Needless to say, our fruit and leafy-green loving primates are delighted with every shipment of fresh berries, romaine lettuce, bananas, apples and other fruits and vegetables—often organic and in season. These items are essential for a healthy diet for primates (including humans)!
Monkey biscuits, as they’re commonly called, serve as vital daily supplements. The provide vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that help ensure the long-term health of our residents. Monkey biscuits cost, on average, $450 per week.
Bird food (mostly fresh seed and fruit) to feed the sanctuary’s birds costs $150-$200 per week. Blue and red parrots, love birds, macaws, peacocks, South American vultures don’t all eat the same things, but a plentiful supply of seed is always needed for the birds in our gorgeous aviaries and on our grounds.
A dollar goes a long way for a primate or bird, but considering the size of the sanctuary’s population, we strive to keep costs down. We keep meticulous track of our food expenses and are always on the lookout for ways we can save money and improve meals.
We’re always mindful of our extended family of donors. Without you, Primarily Primates could not perform its mission. Our refuge exists because of the generosity of you who see value in the lives of animals who’ve been exploited through various industries—including the pet trade, cosmetics testing, entertainment and zoos. While we can’t undo their pasts, we can change their futures.
As we continue to augment our caregiving, and provide the very best of food, veterinary care and enrichment, we depend on your generosity and support more than ever. If you’re already a financial contributor, we hope you’ll remain committed. And if you haven’t donated before, we hope you’ll strongly consider it. Your donation will ensure the sanctuary’s future, and a healthy and fulfilling life for the 400 individuals who calls Primarily Primates home. Please also consider an online donation at: www.primarilyprimates.org and take the opportunity to view our collection of highly enjoyable videos of the sanctuary’s residents.
Priscilla Feral, President
Stephen Rene Tello, Executive DirectorPrimarily Primates: On the Road
We care for four gibbons: José Maria, Junior, and Scoshio (white-handed gibbons) and Kimchi (a white-cheeked gibbon hybrid). The song of gibbons is beautiful, and hard to describe. Each gibbon has a song that’s both similar to others and unique. The two male gibbons, Junior and Jose Maria, sound like they are singing the bass part in a choir of gibbons; they have the deep sounding calls that seem to harmonize with the females who sing the higher pitched melodies. The songs of Scoshio and Kimchi are quite varied. Scoshio tends to have a beautifully pitched high note that can get higher and higher (she’s our resident Mariah Carey!) and then switch to a lower tone quickly. Kimchi’s singing is very high pitched and bright—reaching higher octaves effortlessly.
The chorus they create sets the mood for all the gibbons. Today, as I write this, the sun gleams down brightly on the freshly rained ground, their voices bounce across the surrounding hills; neighbors of the sanctuary often express how wondrous the music is that they make—often mistaking the gorgeous gibbon music for birdsong. People are always surprised when I tell them the voices belong to gibbons.
Visit PrimarilyPrimates.org and hear the beautiful music of our resident gibbons. Andy Cockrum, our videographer, captured some beautiful footage; the video is called “Song of the Gibbons.”
A Day in the Life of Our Enrichment Coordinator
Shelly Ladd starts the day popping a lot of popcorn—enough to fill an 18-gallon container. Ladd then begins the day’s culinary enrichment projects such as ants-on-a-log, or peanut butter in celery stalks with raisins, or strawberry bread pudding stuffed in banana peels. The chimpanzees love Ladd’s corn grits with maple syrup and fresh corn kernels stuffed into banana skins.
Most days, it takes Ladd until early afternoon. It’s a lot of food! “Some people like to knit; I’d rather cut produce and prepare the enrichment,” Ladd says. It’s very relaxing!” Intermittently, Ladd cleans and fills any Kong toys the care staff members bring over, and works on special diets.
Our members have been great about donating food items—spices, beans, rice, pasta, oatmeal, grits, quinoa—for treats. Ladd likes to look up recipes for inspiration, but: “I never follow them exactly; that’s too easy.”
The picky eaters at the sanctuary are Oliver (the oldest chimpanzee) and Nyteri (a two-year-old spider monkey). “I make cakes out of monkey chow, a box of muffin mix, and applesauce in place of eggs and oil. I add blueberries, raisins, and raw sunflower seeds for extra nutrition.” Ladd works closely with our vet, Dr. Kirk, to make adjustments for specific animals needing reduced-calorie and other special diets.
“The care staff passes out the food enrichment. I like to go with them and watch their reactions. When the animals start getting excited it makes my day!” Ladd adds: “When handing out the treats, the staff can observe every animal to spot injuries or problems. As a team, everyone's mission is the same, to improve the lives of each and every animal at the sanctuary.”Say Hello to our Newest Residents!
Rico and Gizmo—These beautiful, young lemurs were house-pets before coming to Primarily Primates in May 2012. (They’re adorable, but lemurs should not be pets!) Because they knew one another before arriving at Primarily Primates, they continue to do well together and are adjusting well to their spacious, sunny outdoor living area. They’re about to be introduced to a group of the other lemurs. We’ll keep you posted.
Calder and Greer--
These male Rhesus macaques arrived from a research lab in April 2012; we think they’re 11 years old. They were housed together at the lab for their entire lives, and lived in an indoor enclosure before arriving at Primarily Primates. When they arrived, and we released them into their outdoor enclosure, they didn’t have great balance and appeared weak—unsurprising given that their past situation didn’t allow for much exercise. We were also told that they couldn’t eat together because of the risk of aggression. In fact, they’re kind to one another. We’ll keep you posted on their transition to sanctuary life.
Almost five years old, the Rhesus macaque arrived in May 2012. Early in life, Burt was purchased from a breeder in Oregon and kept illegally as a pet monkey. He was confiscated by animal-control agents, and given 72 hours to find a sanctuary to take him in before he’d be killed. A primate rescue group in Washington, Primate Rescue NW, took Burt in and contacted Primarily Primates, and this rambunctious macaque now lives with us.
His enclosure at Primarily Primates is right beside Kayla and Elf—two female long-tailed macaques; we hope that, eventually, the three of them will be roommates and best friends. Of course, it will take time and patience. We’ll keep you posted on Burt’s progress. Our Dr. Kirk has just given Burt a vasectomy.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.Memorials, Gifts and Dedication Donations
In memory of Yankee Dandy’s Doodle, 1950–68.
Holly Reynolds—President Foundation For Animal Welfare
In memory of Uriah. Denise Boggs
In honor of all God’s creatures. Brien Comerford
In memory of Uriah, a favorite chimp. Donna Ramskill
In memory of PPI’s volunteer Jerome Hitzfelder, who is truly missed. Maggie Rodriguez
In memory of my precious cats— Nela, the clown, Lady, the caregiver, and Dolly, age 26, who watched over everybody. Their absences are greatly felt. Eileen Rogers
In memory of John Godfrey. Carol Bullock Clemmons
In memory of Dick Matthews, father of Valerie Matthews Kirk. Peggy Cravens and family John Stockton Jim and Jeane O’Brien and family
In memory of Jerome Hitzfelder. There are no words to say “thank you” for what you have done for all the animals at Primarily Primates. Stephen Rene Tello
Jerome Hitzfelder: your spirit will always be with me. You will be sorely missed. Danny Rodriguez
for Primate Enrichment and Joy
Unsalted sunflower seeds
Dried or fresh fruit
Kong dog toys
- Chimpanzees: We Can Work It Out
- The Director’s Diary: Leaf-Eating Monkeys With Booming Whoops
- A Match Made In Heaven
- Spotlight on Willie and Friends
- The Director’s Diary: Rescued Macaque Monkeys Faring Well
- The Director’s Diary: The Arrival of Joey, a Capuchin Monkey
- Max and Lorenzo: Two Great Escapes
- The Fruit of a New Alliance: The Primarily Primates Advisory Board
- Who’s That New Chimpanzee – Curious George? No, It’s Buck!
- Birds Spread Their Wings At Their New Home
- 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