Primarily Primates Newsletter
Max and Lorenzo: Two Great Escapes
Max and Lorenzo, both aged six, are black-and-white Holstein cows once destined for a veal slaughterhouse. They joined the sanctuary’s other two cows, Daisy and George, and are spending the winter on 10 acres of the sanctuary’s land. Later this year they’ll have access to a full 65 acres.
After Max was pulled from his mother so that her milk could be sold, he was housed without food or water for four days while the dairy farmer waited for the truck that hauled veal calves to slaughter to arrive. When the truck came, Max collapsed, and the farmer started to beat him with a stick to force him to stand. A witness called the police, who confiscated the young calf, and sent Max to Sunny Day Farm sanctuary in LaCoste, Texas. The sanctuary manager spent hours caring for Max—near death from starvation and shock. Thanks to the caring people who rescued Max and invested in his survival, he’s now very big, covered with patches of black fur.
Lorenzo was also sold to be slaughtered for veal, and was mooing as he was close to being butchered. When a sympathetic person followed the mooing sounds, he found the young calf laying down in a chute, looking up at him. When he reached down, Lorenzo started to suckle his thumb. That prompted an offer to purchase the calf.
Lorenzo was brought to the same farm sanctuary that rescued Max. Both Max and Lorenzo spent the next six years living at the farm sanctuary, forming a bond. The other sanctuary has less space, and its facilitators decided to seek a place where the pair—both Lorenzo and Max weigh about 800 pounds—could have room to roam. Today, they live with two other cows here; and all four have their best years ahead of them.
Home Free: Red-Billed Whistling Ducks
Each winter, Primarily Primates’ two-acre pond and surrounding trees offer refuge to more than 300 Red-billed whistling ducks. These charming ducks, native to our area and also called tree ducks, stand upright on long legs, sometimes perched on tree branches. They eat at night and like ponds and shallow water, so the sanctuary’s habitat is a magnet for the flocks.
Years ago, these ducks were much rarer. In cooperation with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Service, our staff placed tree duck nesting boxes around the sanctuary’s pond. We’ve also rescued and rehabilitated many dozens of orphaned ducklings from the surrounding community. The young ducks mature in the safety of our aviary; then we release them onto the sanctuary’s pond.
Many will eventually join other free-living flocks, and leave the sanctuary.
Many other adults return, bringing new ducklings here to their winter sanctuary home. At dusk each day the skies are filled with long, triangular shapes of ducks who circle the sanctuary as they fly lower and lower, then land at the pond, and the air is filled with their boisterous whistles
Your Help is Essential
In 2010, we very much hope for your continued investment in Primarily Primates through membership support. Your investment bolsters our hard work, and allows us to maintain high standards and security for rescued primates and other animals. Please keep our efforts strong with your contributions.
We’re forever grateful for your kindness.
Priscilla Feral, President
Stephen Rene Tello, Executive Director
Primarily Primates Annual Sanctuary Partners for Chimpanzees
B. Andrew Dutcher – “Primarily Primates Daily Champion”
Pamela Starr McKenna – “Golden Sponsor”
Many Thanks . . .
Heartfelt thanks to Labatt Food Service in San Antonio for their generosity and frequent donations of cases of bananas, fruits and other vegetables—all adored by the sanctuary’s primates, and very much needed.
The Director’s Diary:
A Welcome for Rowdy, the Marmoset Monkey
At our sanctuary, we have monkeys and apes, and lemurs—descendants of a common ancestor to both. We have some other animals too. And most all of them are survivors of labs, the entertainment industry, zoos or other exhibits, or the exotic pet trade. Our newest arrival, Rowdy, was a pet.
In late November, we received a call from a Houston woman who had received a baby marmoset—with soft, thick fur in shades of black, brown and gray and white tufts framing his face—as a present. She named him Rowdy.
The baby monkey was purchased at just four weeks of age from a Florida animal dealer who told the buyer the typical lie: These small primates are easy to raise, and they make one’s life a delight.
For the next two years, Rowdy required round-the-clock care and attention.
As usual, Rowdy was put in a cage in the Texas apartment. When out of the cage, he was protective of his owner, on whom he was completely dependent. When Rowdy’s owner realized that a marmoset could bite and harm other people, she searched for a sanctuary where Rowdy could live around other marmosets. She found us on the Internet.
We care for many marmosets and tamarins, and on November 28, 2009, Rowdy became our newest monkey. Of course, Rowdy shouldn’t have been born into existence as a pet in the first place. But we appreciate your support in making sure Rowdy now lives in recently renovated accommodations, spacious and temperature-controlled.
In Texas’s hot summer months, marmosets and tamarins, who generally like to play outside, have air-conditioned rooms set around 80F. If it gets too hot, they come inside. For now, Rowdy is adjusting well to the sanctuary, and enjoying the special menu we’ve designed to meet marmosets’ natural needs.
Spotlight on Okko:
A Film Star Who Shouldn’t Have Been
Okko was born on the 25th of November, 1980 at the Arnhem Zoo in the Netherlands and was promptly put on exhibit.
As young animals reach maturity, they lose their entertainment appeal. The back door opens; used animals get sold to dealers. Thus was Okko traded away to a New York dealer, and sold again to 20th Century Fox. Okko was one of five chimpanzees used in the 1987 production of Project X, with Helen Hunt and Matthew Broderick. In the film’s story an air force pilot and an animal researcher risk their lives to save chimpanzees from hazardous experiments.
The other four chimpanzees purchased for use in the film—Willie, Harry, Luke and Arthur—also later arrived at Primarily Primates. When the filming ended, 20th Century Fox planned to sell the chimpanzees to a laboratory—a reprehensible irony as the lucrative film focused on a young chimpanzee’s escape from radiation tests in an Air Force laboratory.
A sensible advisor for the studio warned 20th Century Fox of the public outcry likely to follow a transfer of the chimpanzees to a lab.
Primarily Primates prepared to build a new enclosure for $65,000, but the film company offered just $35,000, so it took some time until enough funds came in and all five could be accommodated. They came in 1986.
Okko’s spot today is a 60-foot long, 20-foot high grass-bottomed space. Full of climbing structures, it overlooks the sanctuary’s pond. Okko, who now lives with Willie, Choebe KoKo, and his close friend Harry. An imposing yet well-socialized individual, Okko has taken on the difficult task of keeping the peace among his spirited companions. Okko loves all fruits and vegetables—especially red apples and Romaine lettuce.
Would you consider sponsoring a chimpanzee in Okko’s group? For details, check the Sanctuary Partner Page on the facing page.
Our staff request the following items to offer animals in their care.
Hard plastic toys
Small Kong toys (usually sold for dogs)
Hot-air popcorn popper, and popcorn
Unshelled, unsalted nuts
Unsweetened Cheerios and Raisin Bran