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As winter fast approaches, the cold weather takes its toll. For more than 630 animals at the Born Free Primate Sanctuary in Dilley, Texas, blankets will be donated through the national wildlife Conservation and animal welfare organization Born Free USA.  The drive called, Baby Blankets for Primates, aims to deliver blankets to the sanctuary by the end of the year to provide warmth and comfort for the primates.

Importing and exporting exotic animals has been going on now for decades. The exotic pet trade business, as estimated by the Humane Society of the United States, is a multi-billion dollar industry and millions of animals are forced into being sold as a pet or for entertainment purposes.

These animals are usually taken directly from their natural habitat and sometimes many of them die before they reach their destination.

Not only is owning an exotic pet wrong, but it also can cause serious health complications. According to the Humane Society, many of the reptiles and amphibians may carry salmonella, while exotic animals such as monkeys can carry harmful viruses such as herpes and rabies. There are currently laws in place for this type of trade, but it can vary from state to state in the penalty given.

The Born Free Sanctuary is a 186-acre facility and is very unique in that residents there live in free-roaming groups in a natural environment. The facility currently hosts 630 animals: 22 baboons, three vervets and more than 600 macaques. Born Free Sanctuary director of, Tim Ajax, says that “blankets can provide comfort to residents who have once been involved and suffered in the exotic pet trade.”

The blankets can serve different purposes too including providing warmth from cold weather, as a toy to play with, and even just something to hold onto for many of the residents who brutally suffered in the trade.

Supporting Born Free USA and its campaigns against exotic pet trade can be done in multiple ways including sending a baby blanket, providing a financial donation, purchasing and donating an item from the sanctuary’s wish list, or even “adopting” one of the residents. The blanket drive begins today and blankets can be sent to The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary at PO Box 25, Dilley, Texas, 78017. All blankets must be fully intact and in good condition.

Find out more about Born Free online or on Facebook.

Image Source: jan-borgsetede/Flickr