Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute

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Born Free USA's Primate Sanctuary

At the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary, each individual animal matters. Located on 186 acres about 70 miles south of San Antonio, TX, the sanctuary provides a safe, permanent home for more than 500 nonhuman primates, many of whom were rescued from abusive situations in research facilities, roadside zoos or private possession.

(Watch a short video in which our chief executive officer, Will Travers, talks about the sanctuary.)

The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary enables macaques, vervets and baboons to meet — some for the very first time — their wide range of innate physical, social and psychological needs. Animals who once suffered now know peace, and experience freedoms they never had — the freedom to roam in a natural environment, to spend time in the company of others of their kind, and to be free of life as a pet, test subject or curiosity.

The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary is a unique facility, one of the very few to allow its residents to live out their days in the most natural environment possible, with a minimal level of human interference.

LEARN: Recent Developments

What's happening on the ground around the world to primates?

  • Horror unfolds as the international transport of 25 purchased monkeys goes very wrong.
  • The lead singer for the boy band of the moment, One Direction, says he wants a pet monkey.
  • Three cheers for the makers of "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes," who employed no real animals in filming but rather relied exclusively on digital effects.
  • Along those lines, we emphasize that chimpanzees should never be used as actors or props.
  • A "pet" snow monkey in Pennsylvania escapes and ends up biting a bystander and being shot dead by authorities.

BORN FREE USA: On the Front Lines

  • On Sunday, our Primate Sanctuary will be featured in a Jumbotron-size video when the Texas Rangers host the Oakland Athletics!
  • We struck a deal to provide lifetime care for 112 macaques and one baboon from a bankrupt sanctuary in Texas. We continue to prepare for their arrival, which will happen very soon. Stay tuned!
  • Our newest resident is a macaque who had been kept in deplorable conditions inside a private residence in Michigan.
  • We worked with the New York Legislature to pass a bill to protect the public from potentially dangerous exotic animals by enacting stricter regulations on exotic animal ownership.
  • We commended two congressmen for introducing H.R. 4306, the Captive Primate Safety Act, which amends the Lacey Act to prohibit interstate commerce in monkeys, apes and other nonhuman primates for the exotic pet trade.
  • In January, we were thrilled to be able to take a macaque who'd just been rescued from a roadside zoo in Mississippi.
  • Last September we rescued a baboon who had been living in a basement in Wisconsin and asked our team members to name him. The winning sobriquet? Dane, which was the county he was rescued from.

ACT: What You Can Do

  • View our videos, which are certain to entertain the young ones in your life, too! Watch Oliver wear himself out on a hammock, Mississippi Mac settle in at the sanctuary, monkeys gathering around a pickup to be fed in "Stop!" and other uplifting footage taken by our sanctuary staff.
  • Become a fan of the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary on Facebook and invite all your Facebook friends to do the same.
  • Get up close with dozens of our sanctuary residents in our online Photo Gallery.
  • Learn more about the sanctuary and monkey issues in general on our Get the Facts page.
  • Catch up on all the day-to-day happenings at the sanctuary by reading Director Tim Ajax's latest blogs.
  • Share our sanctuary's website with everyone you know and help us raise awareness about the plight of these individuals and the ongoing care they receive.
  • Write letters to companies, TV stations or other media outlets when you see monkeys being exploited as props in advertisements, TV shows, movies and more.

CONTRIBUTE: Support the Sanctuary

Born Free USA offers several other ways in which you can support our sanctuary. Check them out! You also can aid our work for primates by:

Making a one-time donation. Contributing to our partner, the Last Great Ape Organization, or our Primates in Zambia project. Purchasing one of our plush toys.

HAVE FUN! Enter Our Photo, Essay Contests

Grab a camera and participate in our second annual Keep Wildlife in the Wild Photo Contest, or encourage a young person to enter our inaugural "How I'm Going Wild for Animals This Summer" essay contest Hurry, though, because the deadlines are fast approaching!

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