Teddy, an African vervet, arrived at our sanctuary in June 2015, full of life and the abundant energy of youth.
Teddy was bred in a zoo and taken from her mother and sister at four months of age to be sold as a pet.
Fortunately, the caregivers charged with interviewing potential buyers quickly understood that a cage in someone's home was no place for a primate to live and contacted the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary for recommendations.
The caregivers decided to purchase Teddy outright from the zoo and then made the long drive to our sanctuary in south Texas, where Teddy would have the opportunity to live a more normal life.
Staff at the sanctuary set up a special cage under the shade of a huge mesquite tree, where Teddy could safely observe other monkeys and start acclimating to life outdoors. She quickly adjusted to her new surroundings and staff started the process of gently and patiently introducing her to the other vervets.
Teddy immediately formed a relationship with Charles, a vervet retired from research, and began grooming him through the safety screen, her tiny fingers parting the course fur of the much larger male.
After staff constructed a bigger introductory enclosure, Teddy and Charles moved in together and Teddy finally experienced the constant interaction she desperately needed for proper social development.
Charles is very patient with Teddy and her exuberant behavior, and is an excellent role model for the youngster.
Teddy now lives a stimulating and enriching life in the presence of other monkeys: a far cry from life in a small cage in someone's home.
Born Free USA is a national animal advocacy nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, contributions to which are tax-deductible. Our mission is to end the suffering of wild animals in captivity, rescue individual animals in need, protect wildlife — including highly endangered species — in their natural habitats, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. Every year, millions of animals suffer in fur farms and circus cages. In our campaigns against such cruelties, we use powerful tools including legislation, public education, litigation, and grassroots networking. We also work actively with media to spread the word about challenges facing animals. Our primary campaign areas currently include animals used in entertainment, captive exotic animals, trapping & fur, and the international wildlife trade. The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary, located in Dilley, Texas, offers more than 600 primates, many of whom were rescued from abusive situations in laboratories, roadside zoos, and private possession, life in as natural an environment as possible. In order to allow the primates privacy in their sanctuary home, and to avoid putting them on display, the sanctuary is not open to the public.