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jungle friends: a land of second chances

JUNGLE FRIENDS PRIMATE SANCTUARY, a refuge for primates rescued from:
~  Laboratory experimentation
~  Entertainment
~  Primate Pet Trade
Kari Bagnall is founder/director of Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary, a non-profit haven for monkeys who need permanent care and love.

Primatologist Bob Ingersoll, a star in the HBO documentary Project Nim (about a human-raised chimp for language research) and Jungle Friends caregivers greet Kinship Circle's Brenda Shoss at the sanctuary in Gainesville, Florida.

At first you notice the green — a plant-life canvas for tall habitat enclosures.
Then you notice you're getting checked out…by discerning capuchins:
White-Faced Capuchins (Cebus capucinus), White-Fronted Capuchins (Cebus albifrons)
Brown Capuchins (Cebus apella), Weeper Capuchins (Cebus olivaceus), This is Max.
Bolivian Squirrel Monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis), Common Squirrel Monkeys (Saimiri scuireus)
Black-Handed Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi), Peruvian Spider Monkeys (Ateles chamek), This is Lizzie.
Cotton-Top Tamarins (Saguinus oedipus), Golden-Handed Tamarins (Saguinus midas)
Common Marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) Black Tufted-Ear Marmoset (Callithrix penicillata), This is Blair.
Plus, the ittle-bittle marmosets! 

Monkeys prefer to gaze down upon us humans, and when given the chance, enjoy bopping our heads or swiping the occasional hat. A maze of overhead runs lets them scamper and play at tree-top heights. When monkeys get to be monkeys, they are a busy bunch.

Joy. Mischief. Concern. Hardship. And outright flirtation!
That's how little faces greeted us, when Kinship Circle spent time at Jungle Friends — to volunteer and to learn. We were so moved by our time at Jungle Friends, we want to support their vegan inspired work for the abused and unwanted.

Meg York, from Vermont
Graydon Ballard, from St. Louis
Kinship Circle Director, Brenda Shoss

JF was grateful to get Grady, a big guy with an innate sense for building stuff. Grady and some of the other guys got to work on construction of natural ramps for monkeys to get to overhead runs. [When structure was completed] MONKEY BLISS!

But there's always a ton more to do. To build habitats for monkeys on a waiting list that grows and grows! Jungle Friends has also taken in a miniature pony, Lucy, cockatoos, parrots, dogs.

Jungle Friends recently got some help from activists and speakers at SAEN's Effective Action Against Vivisection conference in Gainesville, FL near the sanctuary. Michael Budkie and wife Karen concluded SAEN's (Stop Animal Exploitation Now) conference with volunteer days at Jungle Friends.

The other side of freeing animals from research: Where do animals go?
Activism should not end when animals are freed. When a research protocol ends, animals are usually killed. But some, like these traumatized monkeys used in iron toxicity tests (recovering at Jungle Friends) get another chance. As more escape cruelty, more need somewhere to go.

Jungle Friends is home to 120 rescued monkeys (a number that constantly changes). But their waiting list is long. JF wants to expand its property and build more habitats… For monkeys like Wendell, who came to Jungle Friends with diabetes and soon went blind. But Wendell's sight returned! His diabetes carefully managed, Wendell can see.

Each monkey is unique. And very discriminating. One who really likes you will suddenly go all goofy. A tiny hand drums the spot over his heart. "I adore you," he or she seems to say. Each unique gesture underscores the horror some endured, before they came to Jungle Friends.

Monkeys are not "pets." They're wild animals. Babies are literally pulled from mothers, sometimes when only 3-days old, to be sold to exotic pet dealers. Infants and their moms have a strong bond. Forced separation can scar primates for life. Monkeys can mature into hostile "pets." Many wind up in cramped cages, drugged and defanged…when they become too hard to handle. Others are dumped at roadside zoos, sold to breeders, or sent to research labs. Monkeys are wired to be wild. To live as monkeys, among their own kind.

Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary
13915 North State Road 121
Gainesville, FL 32653

This is Annabelle. This is Ernesto. Fiona & Goober, The Kiss. Artist: A Monkey Paints At Jungle Friends.

Footage & Photographs

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Animal Advocacy  |  Education  |  Disaster Aid  •  •
314-795-2646  |  7380 Kingsbury Blvd  |  Saint Louis, MO 63130 USA

●  Federal 501(c)(3) under U.S. IRS ruling, Public Charity Status: 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
●  Tax Employee Identification Number (EIN) available upon request
●  Nonprofit Certificate of Incorporation, Charter: N00071626