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February 7, 2008 - Lab monkey update and introducing Pat!

Dear Friends of Jungle Friends,

I hope everyone had a very happy New Year! I am so sorry I have been so out of touch with all of our supporters, but we have been working every day and into the night to get the nine ex-laboratory monkeys out of their temporary accommodations and into their new outdoor habitats, whew! The monkeys are all doing very well, but we are anxious to get them into their new permanent homes.

A very special 'thank you' to all of our generous donors who have contributed so generously to the Research Retirement Fund! The project has been moving steadily along. We are still lacking about $1,000 to pay off the new marmoset building... before we begin our fundraising campaign for the laboratory tamarins arriving soon! So, please keep spreading the word about the Research Retirement Fund to everyone you know. And please send in your donation just as soon as possible.

Another new arrival!

Pat, a female spider monkey, recently arrived at Jungle Friends. Pat came to us from the Plano (Texas) Independent School District's Outdoor Learning Center. Pat had been placed with them by the City of Dallas Animal Services Department after a citizen discovered the spider monkey sitting outdoors on a fence in the freezing weather. Pat's fingers, toes and tail all had severe frostbite. Pat would sit in the corner and bang herself in the head with her back foot.

All but one of the veterinarians who were consulted wanted to euthanize Pat! Fortunately, that one felt that Pat deserved a chance to live and recover. All of her toes, all but one finger on her left hand, and the tip of her tail had to be amputated. Pat adapted very well to her loss. Three days after her surgery she was bouncing around and hanging from her tail. She finally began to eat, and after about a week Pat's psychological well-being was much improved.

The staff at the Outdoor Learning Center loved Pat, and did their best to give her a pleasant temporary home within their limited space, but they knew Pat needed much more. They wanted Pat to have more room and the companionship of other monkeys. Eventually their inquiries led them to Jungle Friends.

Kim, a volunteer at the Outdoor Learning Center, drove Pat to Jungle Friends and stayed at the sanctuary for a few days to help with her transition to her new home.

Pat settled right in and quickly realized this was the place for her. She is situated near our other seven spider monkeys, who welcomed Pat with their reassuring calls. Pat is having a great time climbing the trees and eating the plants in her outdoor habitat. She has negotiated the runways and beds down in her indoor enclosure wrapped in her blankets at night.

We plan to socialize Pat with Travis, our elderly, toothless, spider monkey, just as soon as Pat is more accustomed to her new surroundings. It may take little while to overcome Travis's shyness, but we think that spider monkey romance is in the air! And yes, you guessed it, Pat needs sponsors!

Lots of monkey love,
Kari and the monks