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January 11, 2009 - Kid Stuff, Volunteer Stuff, Events Stuff

Dear Friends of Jungle Friends,

Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown was 'for sale' at a pawn shop until compassionate people rescued him. He is looking for a sponsor! Visit our website to sponsor Charlie Brown!

We hope everyone had a great holiday season. We sure were busy over here doing what we do best?serving the 118 monkeys in our care. We would like to whole-heartedly thank everyone who donated to Jungle Friends during our time of need this past holiday. It was a rough one, and it will be tough going for a while, but we saw what amazing and caring supporters the monkeys have. So from the bottom of our hearts (and the monkeys' too!) we thank you. Kari wants to apologize for not thanking everyone personally. We have been so busy here and the thank you notes are coming slowly. If you donated, please rest assured you will receive one soon!

Our Kids for Monkeys page needs more kids to participate! We will be adding more fun stuff in the coming weeks? and we would like to hear more from our monkey-loving young friends.

  • Share your monkey love with the world and join our new 'Monkey Fan Club.' Just send in a photo of yourself with an essay, poem, letter or drawing about monkeys and we'll put you in our online Monkey Fan Gallery. Contact Us, and be sure to include your name, age, and address. We will not publish your address. This is for our records only and will not be disclosed to anyone outside of our staff.
Mela eating dried fruit
Mela enjoys her
dried papaya.
  • Take action! The New Year is a perfect time for a food or toy drive. You'll have a great time working for the monkey cause, and your friends and family will love seeing your picture in the Kids For Monkeys Hall of Fame! Visit How You Can Help to learn more about the other great ideas to support the Jungle Friends monkeys.
Charlotte and Samantha painting
Samantha and Charlotte paint a masterpiece. Find out why monkeys paint.

Two more monkey art exhibits are coming up!

The exhibit at the Artisans' Guild Gallery of Gainesville runs from February 6 through February 28. The opening night reception is Friday, February 6 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the gallery. There will be light refreshments, and Jungle Friends' staff will be in attendance to answer questions and catch up (or to meet you for the first time!) We hope that everyone who lives close will come out to support Jungle Friends and our artistic monkeys!

Donna's art exhibit in Tallahassee at the Mary Brogan Museum of Art & Science will open March 17. We are so excited about this?the museum is giving Jungle Friends five walls and it is sure to be a very exciting exhibit. Kids, if you live in the Tallahassee area, check it out! There will be lots of fun stuff for kids to do.

Please join us on January 29 at the Animal Activists of Alachua meeting at University of Florida in Gainesville at the Reitz Union, Room 355 from 7:30-8:30pm. Kari will be speaking on how to start and run a successful sanctuary and talk about our Special Volunteer Days. There will also be a panel discussion afterward with the Jungle Friends carestaff and interns. Everyone is welcome -- Animal Activists of Alachua are always looking for new members, so please come and support them!

Jungle Friends volunteers
Volunteers build a new habitat.

February 7-15 is the first annual Florida Week for the Animals and Jungle Friends has planned an event to celebrate! We will be holding a Special Volunteer Day from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday, February 14 with Veg4Life providing a vegan feast after the work day. We are asking volunteers to sign up in advance so we can plan appropriately -- space is limited! Please Contact Usif you would like to attend.


Mario kisses Tessa Tessa receives a kiss from her new best friend, Mario. See it on video. 'Brown Capuchin Romance.'

The National Geographic Wild Chronicles episode featuring Jungle Friends aired this week on PBS. If you missed it, you can watch the video on our Monkeys in the Media page - coming soon! It's one of the best TV segments yet, so don't miss it. It chronicles Tessa, a brown capuchin, from her days as a 'pet' monkey with severe diabetes to her new Jungle Friends life, weaned off insulin and her diabetes stabilized. It also examines some of the reasons 'pet' monkeys may have a much more difficult life than those born in the wild as nature intended.

Happy New Year,

Why Monkeys Paint

At Jungle Friends we are always looking for interesting activities to incorporate into our monkeys' psychological well-being program.

Many of the monkeys that come to Jungle Friends have not only been abused and neglected, most have also been species isolated, meaning that they have never been near other monkeys and do not know how to interact with them. It can take as little as a few weeks to many long months before we are able to successfully socialize a monkey with other monkeys, so in the meantime we must keep them mentally stimulated and physically active.

The psychological well-being program includes providing the monkeys with toys, music, TV and even volunteers reading aloud to them, so finger painting was a natural addition. Monkeys can see color and many seem to have the delight of a child spreading paint around on the canvas; many have clear color preferences.

At Jungle Friends, we believe that the highest state that a primate can achieve is the "play state". The program that we use at Jungle Friends has not only helped the monkeys mentally and physically, but has also been fundamental in graduating the monkeys toward independence from humans.

Video: Making Monkey Art with Shauna

Monkey Artists at Work
Samantha and Charlotte create a masterpiece.

Samantha and Charlotte painting
Samantha and Charlotte painting
Samantha and Charlotte painting
A work of art - finished!