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Primate Rescue Center supporters visit monkeys

May 25, 2011|By Mike Moore | mmoore@jessaminejournal.com
  • Several monkeys at the Primate Rescue Center in Jessamine County took time to show off and say hello to visitors who toured the facility last week.
Photo by Mike Moore

Jenny, a Simang Gibbon, was swinging back and forth in her cage. All the while, a piercing call echoed throughout the 35-acre Primate Rescue Center Saturday afternoon. This wasn’t a typical afternoon at the center, as about 500 benefactors visited the grounds during the annual Members Only Spring Gala.

“We try to give (the primates) a peaceful life and an enriched life and keep the stress to a minimum,” Director April D. Truitt said. “As you can hear with Jenny in the background, that’s her territorial call. She never makes that call during a normal day with us around because we’re part of the background to her. Today, with all these unfamiliar humans on the premises, she’ll be calling for most of the day.”

The Primate Rescue Center, located near Bethel Road, has been in existence for nearly 25 years, and it relies on the donations of its members to sustain the day-to-day operations.

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“At the Primate Rescue Center, because we’re not open to the public, but we are a nonprofit organization, we understand that our members and supporters want to come and see the animals whose lives they’ve helped improve and make sure we’re making wise use of their donations,” Truitt said. “This is the one day of the year we let them come in and see what we do.”

The center is home to 37 monkeys and 11 chimpanzees representing 12 different species.

According to a brochure, the center requires $1,000 a day to operate.

Truitt said if it were not for the donations, the many success stories that come out of the PRC would not be possible.

“They can meet some of these animals that they’ve been reading about and see some of the miracles that they’ve made possible,” Truitt said of the benefactors. “Like Suzie, the baboon who lived 30 years in isolation in a garage up in Erlanger.”

Truitt said Suzie was rescued in October 2009 and had many medical problems early on. But a year and a half later, she has adjusted nicely.
“She’s a different animal, and to see her interact with another animal — it’s not her own species, because she’s still our only baboon,” Truitt said. “They are very uncommon in private hands because of their size and strength, but she’s in with a little guy named Bob (a vervet monkey), and she’s having a great time.”
The open house was from 1-4 p.m.

For more information on PRC, visit www.primate-rescue.org.

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