One month after Israeli millionaire Ady Gil provided the funding needed to shut the breeding program down for good, the last of the 650 Mazor Farm monkeys born in the wild have finally arrived at their new, leafy home.
Dr. Tamar Fredman, director of the Israeli Primate Sanctuary Foundation said the monkeys are at last getting a taste of what their life was like before their capture in Mauritania.
“They’ve got ground under their feet, branches to climb on,” she told The Jerusalem Post during a recent tour of the sanctuary in the Ben Shemen Forest. “Macaque monkeys have all kinds of stone games. They are bringing stones into their wooden houses and playing with them.”
Most of the monkeys now living at the sanctuary are females who were captured and then bought by the farm for breeding purposes.
“All these monkeys lost their babies,” she said of the newest group of females to arrive, adding that even at the sanctuary the macaques are sticking to their former cagemates as they adapt to their new surroundings.
The monkeys will live out their lives with jungle gyms, trees and natural surrounding in a refuge that is not open to the public.
While the wild-borns are enjoying their new freedoms, plans have also been made for the approximately 1250 monkeys born in captivity and still living at the farm.
“Monkey Rescue will soon locate an area for their sanctuary which will be built in the coming year,” a spokesman for the Shut Down Mazor Farm movement and the Monkey Rescue explained.
In the meantime, they are being tended for at the farm and for the first time in their lives not at risk of being sold to a lab for experimentation.
The Deputy Environmental Protection Minister Ophir Akunis applauded the move which ends a 20 year struggle to close down the program and stop monkey breeding for the use of experimentation in Israel.
“Israel will no longer be a country from which monkeys are exported for experimentation,” Akunis said. “This is a great achievement of the Environmental Protection Ministry, and we must give credit to all of the organizations that led the struggle and whose voice was heard. Together, we brought relief to the monkeys.”
Meta-description: The last of the wild-born monkeys leave Mazor Farms for good.
Keywords: animal rights, animal experimentation, monkeys, Mazor Farm, Ady Gil