Nine female baboons, ages 13 to 23, arrived at The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Dilley, Texas, recently after being retired from a laboratory research program.
Tim Ajax, director of the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary said that the new residents – Pearl, Missy, Chloe, April, Friendly, Spicy, Brooke, Kennedy and Lulu – have begun their new lives in a spacious enclosure with climbing structures, native habitat and five covered safety areas.
“This will allow gradual integration for them to a more normal group environment where they will have grass and earth under their feet for most likely the first time in their lives, and have the chance to socialize with each other.
“They have never before lived as a group and were housed singly for most of their lives. Our long-term goals include a possible assimilation into an enclosure which currently houses 10 other baboons. We would love them all to be together, but there are social and logistical adjustments ahead for them and we need to go at their pace."
Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA, added: "This is a happy ending for these lucky nine, as it has been for our hundreds of residents at the sanctuary.
“We are ecstatic that we can give them a life of grass, trees, ponds, exercise, proper food and medical care. However, every day wild animals need to be rescued from ‘pet owners’, laboratories, roadside zoos and other abusive circumstances.
“About 13 per cent of our entire primate population at the sanctuary consists of monkeys previously utilized in research. Wild animals belong in the wild and these scenarios should never exist at all. Sanctuaries are filled to capacity, costly to run, and are the only aid we can give these animals."
The sanctuary is currently home to 13 baboons, four vervets and more than 600 macaques representing seven different species.