Thursday, February 26, 2009

Amber Barrett's Speech

Hi there! Today, we are happy to bring you Amber's speech. Amber is Cam's sister and they both share a love of animals, nutured by their mom Leslie and aunt Jenn!

Amber's Speech

It’s like a fairy tale only it’s real!

The really cool thing is this fairy tale is located only 20 minutes away, in Manilla!

This fairy tale is called Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary.

Story Book Farm is a sanctuary for primates. My mom, aunt and brother volunteer there all the time, working with the animals. If you do not know what primates mean, the best way to tell you is, Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary has over 6 different types of monkeys, so you guessed it - primates means monkeys.

Some monkeys at Story Book Farm are: George, Suzie, Mr. Jenkins, Lexy, Nan, Pierre, Chelsea and the newest Julian, plus they have many more. These monkeys are at the sanctuary for a reason. Some of the reasons are, the monkeys were used for research testing. Some lived with humans and did not get treated very well and some were just old and not fun anymore for their owners.

There are so many different types of primates: like Pierre who is an Olive Baboon and 6 years old; Lexy, who is a Japanese Macaque and 4 years old; Mr. Jenkins who is a black handed spider monkey and 4.5 years old; and George and Suzie who are black spider monkeys. George is 37 and Suzie is 20.

Some people think that monkeys are cute and sweet, and they are, but they are not supposed to be pets or live in the zoo. They should be in the wild not in captivity, even if they do live longer in the zoo that’s just nature and how things are.

Story Book Farm is not just for monkeys. They have dogs, cats, horses, goats, a duck and a goose and other animals. They all have a special reason why they have come to live here and all of them will retire here for the rest of their lives. They have comfortable living spaces that are warm and they get fresh food and treats at suppertime everyday. My Mom and brother prepare the supper for them. It would include lots of fruits and vegetables, bread or cereal, nuts, and a sweet treat like cupcakes. Because some of them were not raised very well in their previous homes, it is okay to give them treats that they will enjoy. The owners of Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary, Sherri & Leonard give them toys and special things to play with to keep them occupied, since living here can be boring at times. For instance, they use fire hose for the monkeys to swing on, soccer balls and electronic toys so the monkeys can hear the sounds and press the buttons. Sometimes they are given their suppers in boxes or paper bags they have to rip open to keep things interesting for them.

Lexy carries around a baby doll and holds it to her like she would a real monkey baby. She seems to enjoy having something to take care of.

Chelsea really likes rubber boots for some reason and will bring it over to show you.

Sweet Pea enjoys grooming old fur coats, as if they were other monkey friends.

Mr. Jenkins is a very silly guy. He was used for a movie once. He was supposed to answer a phone in the movie but he didn’t want to and didn’t cooperate, so they got rid of him. This is how he ended up at the farm. You have to be careful when walking by Jenkins because if he can reach you, he may pull you or pinch you. He doesn’t do this to hurt you, just to play - but it can still hurt.

I have only been to the farm one time and I had a great time touring the barn and learning about each of their personalities. The rest I have learned from my Mom and brother who LOVE going every week. The farm is not open for the public because the animals are not supposed to be on this earth for human’s entertainment. They need to be respected. The monkeys are also not handled and cuddled like you might think. As cute as they are, they need to be treated like the animals they really are and not used for our purposes. They love their home and the workers. They get to be outside. They get to socialize with each other through their cages and their lives have been enriched since coming here. They have very different personalities and some can be mad or bothered at times, just like humans.

As much as we can all learn from this farm and the primates, I want people to know that they should not support the use of any monkeys as pets, in movies, products, roadside zoos, etc. All animals need to be respected and allowed to live their natural lives, not trained to live like humans.

...thanks Amber for sharing with your classmates, the stories of the monkeys...

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