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Even though it is already June, the spring weather has only just arrived.  On this warm sunny day we were even putting out wading pools for the monkeys.
There are many challenges looking after animals that come from warm climates in Canada.  We try to make them warm and comfortable in the winter with a number of heat sources – propane, firewood and, for some, we even have individual heat lamps.  So it is great to see them all out on a day like today enjoying the warmth of the sun. This is Pierre enjoying the sun.

Good-bye dear Lexy

Sadly, one of our greatest sun-lovers will not be able to enjoy the warmth of the summer sun this year.  We are devastated at the passing of Lexy, our very feisty Japanese macaque.  She had a thorough routine health check in February which revealed some abnormalities but nothing conclusive.  However, for the next few weeks she was showing some signs of discomfort so we decided to investigate further and took more X-rays this time targeting her abdomen. Unfortunately, it was concluded that her abdomen was riddled with cancer and later results determined that she also had endometriosis.  We had to make the very difficult but humane decision to let her go and join her companion of many years, Julien, who passed away suddenly two years ago.

Lexy loved to be outdoors in the sun and, in the warmer months, we would often find her and Julien grooming each other as the sun set and, in her later years, she would like to have a snooze in the sun.  We were happy that, after Julien died, we were able to form a new family for Lexy with the young boys Darwin and Maximus.  They are both a little quieter these days but they have each other. Rest in peace and comfort Lexy.

Onsite medical facility

We are very fortunate to have our own medical facility so that we can now perform any medical or dental procedure onsite.  This avoids the stress of having to transport the monkeys in order to get care.  Over the last two years we have accumulated a lot of the equipment we need - either donated or second-hand - but we still need a few pieces.  At the top of the list are a fluid pump and a portable ultrasound machine.  (For X-rays, we are very lucky to have a local veterinarian who comes with his portable X-ray equipment when needed.)  I hope you may be able to help us pay for these items on our wish list or perhaps help source used items.

In general, our health care costs are increasing as our monkey/lemur population ages.  One positive side-effect of living in captivity is that life expectancy is generally longer.  Ring-tailed lemurs can live to be 30 years old in captivity while their life expectancy in the wild is 16-19 years.  However, cancer is ever-present and Kizmet (pictured above), our Ring-tail matriarch, succumbed to lung cancer and possible gastric cancer in March.

Freedom from fear

I always wonder where our next monkey is going to come from especially when we have just lost one.  A few weeks ago we received a call about a monkey that was being seized from yet another inappropriate housing situation.  We are now caring for him – introducing him to fresh food and fresh air and a lot of loving attention. We also gave him a name.  The people who had him before didn’t even care enough for him to give him a name. Unfortunately, this is all we can tell you about the monkey at the moment.  We are glad that we can offer Bruno ‘Freedom from fear’   - once again reinforcing why we need to do what we do as a sanctuary.

Update on our recent arrivals

Happily, our other recent arrivals, Mishaa (above) and Ricky (below), are doing well. Mishaa, at close to 3 years of age, is our youngest monkey who was orphaned because of her mother’s death during childbirth. As a result, without her mother, she was not recognised as part of the troop at the zoo where she lived and so was ostracised.  
Mishaa is becoming bolder and naughtier as she gains more confidence with Bella and Samson who accepted Mishaa as their own and who have become wonderful guardians giving Mishaa the opportunity to live with her own species. Mishaa loves to give Samson a little poke and then run away. Samson then chases her and they roll around together.  This has been great for Samson and his arthritis.  Along with the pain meds and the joint supplements he gets, Mishaa has helped him become much more active.   It is wonderful to see the three of them enjoying the warmer weather outdoors – Samson hogging the wading pool or taking a nap in the sun, Mishaa doing her aerial gymnastics and Bella keeping an eye out for treats.
At our first Open Day since 2019 Mishaa entertained our visitors with her youthful energy as she swung and climbed and jumped all over the enclosure while Bella and Samson kept a close eye on her.
Ricky, our Black lemur, is also adjusting well – enjoying the fresh fruit and vegetables we give him instead of the table scraps he was given by his previous owner. 



Last year we were very fortunate to receive a large grant from the Annenberg Foundation allowing us to hire paid staff for the first time in the 22-year history of the sanctuary.  We can now give the monkeys much greater care around the clock, seven days a week.  There is no guarantee that we will get the grant again this year so we are spending a lot of our time applying for other grants in order to continue the care we are now able to provide. Also, this month is the Great Canadian Giving Campaign.  See our campaign page.
We are very grateful to those of you who support the work we do as monthly donors.  Knowing we can count on donations each month helps us budget for the extras we need such as the additional medical equipment I mentioned or renovations to the enclosures. 
The warmth of the summer makes it easier for us to welcome visitors to the sanctuary.  We are having our Open Days again for the first time since 2019.  The next one is on Sunday, June 26th and then once a month until October.  You can find all the upcoming dates on our beautiful new website – now in English and French.  I hope you can come and visit us and meet our monkeys and lemurs and see the difference you make with your donations.
We truly appreciate your support from year to year so that we can continue to improve on the care we provide for our monkeys and lemurs who did not choose to be in captivity. You help us provide a home where they are respected enough to be given a name.

Wishing you all a summer full of sun.
Daina Liepa
Executive Director
Thank you for your continued support.
Thank you for being part of the Story Book family. 
Copyright ©2022 SBFPS, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
C2315 Concession 10 Rd, Sunderland, ON, L0C 1H0
Phone: 416-816-4800
Registered charity #:840817910RR0001 

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Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary · 2315 Concession 10, RR#3 · Sunderland, Ontario L0C 1H0 · Canada

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