Author’s note: From time to time, I have promotions on twitter. When @Weaverwerx became my 300th follower, I offered a prize. Highlighting this charity was his request, which I am pleased to honor.
Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, located on 12 acres in Gainesville, Florida. Their mission is to rescue and offer a permanent, safe haven for monkeys from around the United States who have been abused, confiscated by authorities, retired from research, or who are ex-pets.
In a way, this issue strikes me on a personal level. I lived in Great Falls, Montana for a number of years. There was this little pet shop downtown with a glass facade where the same captive monkey would look out at passers by with a blank stare. Among my friends, we lamentably called him “the saddest monkey in the world”. Mostly, the monkey was kept in the back and the few visitors who happened by could clearly see the poor little guy had lost his mind.
Fortunately, Montana no longer allows the sale of monkeys for pets. However, that pet store still has a supply of monkeys “for out of state buyers.” If Jungle Friends aims to end such cruelty, this is a mission I can fully support. From their website:
Jungle Friends discourages the keeping of primates as ‘pets’ and we hope the practice of stealing baby monkeys from their natural mothers will end. Baby monkeys are literally pulled from their protective mothers, sometimes when they are only three days old, to be sold as ‘pets’. It is not hard to imagine the horror both baby and mother monkey must feel during this traumatic and forced separation. Sadly, it can take a lifetime for the grief-stricken mother to come out of a depression brought on by this thievery and there are always scars left on mother and baby from such cruelty.
Thank you James. A heartfelt and powerful piece. A fine gift indeed…