Jungle News: November 18, 2002

Dear Friends of Jungle Friends,

At this very moment, 9 am Monday, November 18, Nicole Haaf, Jungle Friends Animal Care Director and Dr. Rasmussen, Director of Panama Refuge and Sanctuary of Panama, are at a most important meeting with the Panamanian officials to work on the permitting process for the possibility of some of the JF monkeys to go "home" to their land of origin and live free!

Keep positive thoughts this morning toward the Born to be Wild project and I will let you know the outcome just as soon as I hear from them. I will also fill you in on the other important meetings and collaborations that have been going on for the last two weeks in Panama. If you do not already have the BTBW video, or are not familiar with the project, below is the information...

Born to be Wild is a U.S.-Panama project to return formerly captive monkeys from the United States back to their land of origin in natural habitats where they can live out their lives in freedom. The Primate Foundation of Panama (PFP) has been highly successful in rehabilitating and introducing former pet monkeys onto their beautiful island habitats at the Primate Refuge and Sanctuary of Panama (PRSP). Jungle Friends and PFP have established a partnership to promote the conservation and humane care of nonhuman primates on an international level. There is no other Latin American operation that has the government’s blessing to use 42 pristine islands, inherently protected from people, for rehabilitating and permanently housing formerly captive primates…and, importantly, has surplus space to help monkeys from the U.S. The Born to be Wild project is a win-win situation for everyone and will enable Jungle Friends and the PFP to pool resources and expertise to help primates in both countries. Jungle Friends will assist the PFP in establishing the infrastructure and programs they need to continue and strengthen the primate welfare and conservation movement in their country.

Primates constitute the largest population of non-native animals legally and illegally kept captive in the United States. When these animals are confiscated or become unwanted, sanctuaries are sought out. The demand to find placement for such primates has always stayed ahead of the sanctuary community’s housing capacity—Jungle Friends and our national network of sanctuaries are all full to the gills—but the pressure has multiplied since the recent push for research laboratories to retire their groups of subjects to sanctuaries. In the past two years, the number of calls we have received from individuals and laboratories seeking placement for their monkeys has doubled and our waiting list has tripled. As long as primates are kept as pets, research subjects, and entertainers in this country, there will always be a need for Jungle Friends to make room for more.

The demand for housing plagues all animal rescue organizations. As a sanctuary for primates, however, Jungle Friends confronts some additional challenges to meeting the demand.

* We cannot adopt out our animals to a good home. We provide lifetime care, and primates can live up to 40+ years in captivity.
* Because primates are not indigenous to this country, we cannot rehabilitate and release them back into the wild here.

Our Born to be Wild project is a creative and heart-fulfilling way for us to overcome these challenges. It is also unique, as no other sanctuary in the States has such a project in place for the benefit of human-reared primates. Born to be Wild should prove to be a model of how government, nonprofit sanctuaries, and countries can come together to help solve each other’s problems. Last, the project has tremendous potential for growth and impact internationally. All of these are reasons why it is so important for Born to be Wild to become a reality and not just a possibility.

Born to be Wild video:

Minimum Donation:
Available on CD ROM for $10
Available on VHS tape for $15
Shipping and Handling Cost is included in donation
Also available in Spanish

Please send the information about the Born to be Wild project to everyone you know and keep those positive thoughts going!

Lots of monkey love,
Kari and the monks