Jungle News: January 28, 2003

MURPHY BROWN'S STORY...
AN ANSWER TO MY PRAYERS by Shelly Ladd

If savior means someone who comes to your rescue when you need it the most then I can honestly say that Jungle Friends has become a savior to my darling Murphy. I have always had a great love of monkeys. I have been rescuing them for 30 years now and I have been owned by four. My beloved Murphy Brown has owned me for eight years, ever since she was three weeks old.

At four years old, she was diagnosed with diabetes. I immediately started looking for a vet who could treat her disease and provide the best medical care possible--to no avail. I spent the next four years continuing to search for someone, anyone, with experience in treating capuchin monkeys with diabetes. Since then, I have prayed every single day for help.

When it seemed almost hopeless, a friend found the stories of Buddie and Connie on the Jungle Friends website and a new chapter in my life began. I emailed Kari regarding Murphy Brown and immediately she was there for me. She has had a lot of experience with diabetic monkeys and did not hesitate to come to our aid. After talking to Nicole and Kari on the phone, I decided that the $50 I spent a month on bagels for the docents at the L.A. Zoo would be much better spent sponsoring Connie, a diabetic monkey.

My friend, Sue Michelson, arranged a trip for us to visit Jungle Friends, January, 2003. Having seen many animal sanctuaries and rescue places over the years, we wanted to see this refuge first hand before making any rash decisions. What we found in Gainesville was more than just a monkey sanctuary; it was monkey heaven.

From the get go, I found Kari, Nicole and the entire staff extremely helpful and kind. Most importantly, I personally saw how extraordinary Jungle Friends is. I have never witnessed such an abundance of knowledge, expert care and genuine support for monkeys, and animals in general, and I have worked with and cared for animals for the past 30 years.

Upon returning from Florida, I made it my mission to assist Jungle Friends any way I can. My whole life is now dedicated to raising awareness and funding for Jungle Friends. In March, Murphy will have a new home and two new families, one composed of her own kind and the other being the best caretakers in the world.

I thought that giving up my beloved Murphy was going to be the hardest thing I have ever done but now I can't wait to give her the freedom to be a monkey. What was I thinking all those years I have rescued and then cared for monkeys all by themselves?

I have now come to the realization that my prayers from the past four years have been answered. There is help available for Murphy and more than that, there is a greater joy awaiting her, one that I could never give her. I know in my heart that she belongs at Jungle Friends. She deserves more than I can offer her as a 'pet' monkey. She needs to be with her own kind.

I also know that my new goal in life is to help Jungle Friends. Through yours truly, Jungle Friends now has a west coast chapter. I have many fundraisers planned for the Los Angeles area and I'm sure Kari will keep you posted.