Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!


Mornings at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary are busy but coordinated. First, staff members and interns fill the office kitchen to start the morning “meds” ritual. There is an unconscious, un-choreographed dance to the madness as bodies twist and turn, gathering medications, squeezing into their spots at the counter, and carefully placing each medication into a treat that the monkey will hopefully take.

Once the medications and supplements have been prepared, the care staff review all of the ever-changing information about monkey groups, individuals, progress on introductions, veterinary care, and any infrastructure issues. Then, caregivers head out to their assigned areas to care for the 600 monkeys who call our sanctuary home.



Chongo, a young rhesus macaque, is on twice-daily medications to control an issue with his esophagus. He has been taking his medications in a yogurt drink without issue. However, today, for some reason, he refuses his medications, dumps his cup in seeming frustration, and walks off.

Unfortunately, Chongo cannot receive food unless he takes his medication. So, staff member Devan stops in the middle of her routine and returns to the kitchen to prepare another round for him — this time placing the medication in a tasty snack cake. After a few moments of picking, smelling, and then tasting, Chongo eats it all.

Devan then moves on to the other four monkeys in her area who are receiving medications. She will continue on with routine care (feeding, cleaning, changing water, monitoring, etc.) for the 60 other primates in her section.




A similar dance is played out all across the sanctuary. Fifty-gallon water troughs weighing almost 400 pounds are dumped, scrubbed, and filled with fresh water. Enclosures are thoroughly raked, and old food bits, damaged toys, and other enrichment items are picked up. Food is distributed by truck in the large enclosures where monkeys help themselves to the boxes of fresh produce before staff can even exit the vehicle. In the four-and-a-half acre “northwest” enclosure, another coordinated routine begins as food is placed in 10-cubic-foot carts and wheeled throughout the space. Staff scatter the food items out by hand to give all of the monkeys a chance to eat in relative peace.




For monkeys previously kept as pets, like Chongo, or those retired from research, providing proper care is more complicated. They can frequently become agitated and aggressive, so staff do not have open contact with them. Rather than staff going through the enclosure tossing food, those monkeys are shifted through gates into adjacent yards to allow staff to go in and clean, change water, and distribute food around.

These dances are performed with us, without us, and all around us — each and every day. Some are flowing and beautiful, some are brash and coarse, and some are so subtle as to be almost unrecognizable. But, they all share a common basic step: the dance of life.



To learn more about Born Free USA’s Primate Sanctuary, click here. To get an inside look into life at the sanctuary, check out their Instagram page.

All image source: Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary/Flickr

Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

Check Out the Inspiring Organization That is Leading the Legal Fight for Animals in Canada

Check Out the Inspiring Organization That is Leading the Legal Fight for Animals in Canada

What Will President Trump’s Budget Mean for Wild Horses and Burros?

What Will President Trump's Budget Mean for Wild Horses and Burros?

It’s Time to Empty the Tanks! Sign Petition to Halt Construction of Dolphinarium in Kuwait

#EmptyTheTanks! Sign This Petition to Halt the Construction of a New Dolphinarium in Kuwait

What is the Future for Marine Parks After ‘Blackfish’?

After 'Blackfish', What is the Future of the World's Marine Parks?

Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

0 comments on “What It’s Like to Care for 600 Rescued Monkeys”

Click to add comment
Junia Noel
7 Days ago

My ex and I were together for 5 years. We lived together and were engaged. We went on a trip with friends and his family and had a nasty fight and broke up. We both moved out of our home and with our parents. We decided to go no contact for a month and 2 weeks in he started dating a girl and took her on a trip to California ( where we’ve gone the last 2 years on my bday) on my birthday weekend! After battling it out thru emails and a few meetings we finally came to see each other all of last week, i love him so much and i was so desperate to have him back coz i new that girl was not the right person for him so i have to save my relationship and reunite with my ex again so i try all i could to bring him back but all to avail i have be in contact with so many spell caster who only too my money and still nothing good work out of it, i ws so confuse and devastated one day trying to search on facebook, i come across a wonderful testimony of a lady on how a spell caster who she contacted also for love spell help her and bring her husband back to her with-in less day 2 days after the spell i was so fill with joy coz this lady meant my day and i regain my hope back so i directly and desperately email http://happyspelltemple.webs.com/ coz i love my ex so much and i want him back all to my self so with-in 5 min, Dr happy email me back with hope and told me that i have found solution in him that i should worried no more so i did all he ask of me and he gave me assured and guarantee that my ex will come back so i believed and was so gifted all to my surprise after the spell my ex call, come to my working place, beg and apology for his mistake and he said sorry for the nasty break up that he was inconsiderate of my feelings nt in tend to hurt me. i can testify with the power love spell of Dr happy me and my ex are happily married now thank you Dr happy i will for ever be grateful to you and keep sharing your testimony if you need help or love spell fine it difficult to get back with your ex, email [email protected]
Call or Whas-app him on +2348133873774
web site and know more about him, http://happyspelltemple.webs.com/


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Follow us on

Do Not Show This Again


Submit to OneGreenPlanet

Terms & Conditions ×