Season’s greetings to you and your friends and family!
Thank you for your tremendous support throughout this very busy and challenging year. At this time of year we are always reminded of Darwin’s arrival. It is hard to believe that this December it will be seven years since he came to us (pictures above). That iconic image of him in the shearling coat and a diaper still shows up from time to time.
Early this year we were approached by Humane Society International to see if we could take nine primates that had been seized from a zoo because of abuse and neglect. Our initial response was that we had no space where to put them. At that time we had 19 monkeys and we were at capacity. A few weeks later HSI called again. We all realized that these four monkeys and five lemurs had nowhere else where they could go. We had to commit to helping them. We had to build a new building to accommodate them.
As a result, we have spent the better part of this year planning and overseeing the construction of a new building so that we could take in these primates. The monkeys – two macaques and two baboons – arrived during the summer. We had to create space for them out of space we didn’t really have. We put the two macaques in our quarantine space. The two baboons took over part of the outdoor enclosure we had built for Pierre. When it got cold, they were moved inside into one of two enclosures Pierre, our olive baboon has (that he used to share with Sweet Pea).
These monkeys arrived without names. We have now given them names.
Samson and Bella are Japanese macaques. Since arriving we have done x-rays on Samson and have determined that he has acute arthritis. He has been observed by a pain management specialist and is now taking pain meds and a joint supplement. We are working on therapy for him to help with his mobility and have built ramps and ladders for him so he can climb and move around more easily. When he arrived he was very quiet and hardly moved. Now he has become much more vocal and chases Bella around the enclosure.
We gave the two olive baboons the names Judy and Johnny. When they arrived, for many weeks they behaved as if they hadn’t been fed for days and did not know if they would ever be fed again. They were frantic. They have slowly realised that they are fed regularly, twice a day with a few treats in between, and are a little more relaxed around food.
The five lemurs will be arriving in a few days as the building nears completion.
The construction of this new building for these monkeys and lemurs was not part of our long-term plan. Last year we began the fundraising campaign “Story Book: The Next Chapter” to raise $1 million to allow us to double our capacity. We have now had to use some of the funds raised to help pay for this building. Although HSI offered to finance the building, they were not able to cover the total cost.
Five years ago, when we were approached about taking Cody, Pugsley and Cedric to allow these lab monkeys to retire, we were in the midst of a fundraising campaign to save the sanctuary. Now again, a phone call has reinforced the need for the sanctuary and for what we do.
This does mean that The Next Chapter is delayed a little but we have been able to save nine lives.
You helped us when we needed to build a home for Cody, Pugsley and Cedric. Please help us help all our monkeys live a happy and fulfilled life and, in so many cases, learn to be monkeys.
Thank you for your continued support. Thank you for being part of the Story Book family.
Happy Holidays to you from all our volunteers.
The Board and volunteers
Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary