Saturday, June 25, 2011

Take Five with Izzy Hirji

Every day brings new joys, experiences and memories in the barn.  As the seasons change, so do the monkeys' lives.  Spring brings longer days, summer - sun, warmth, breezes, flowers, more choices and happier times.  The monkeys have been enjoying fresh daisies, grasses and watching the Canadian Geese families down by the pond.  The goats, horses, Chili (the llama) and Minnie (the donkey) are out in the fields, happily munching on new greenery.  The volunteers are a constant, always there to help - power washing the barn, sorting through the worm farm for the marmosets, building relationships, making enrichment and daily thinking of ways to help out.

Today, we want to introduce Izzy Hirji - a remarkable young man who has done so much for primates and great apes locally and abroad.  Izzy just finished his first year at the Ontario Vet College and dreams of one day working with gorillas - which we are all confident he will do!  Izzy came to us by way of the Jane Goodall Institute, as he is a member of the Youth Council.  We are so fortunate to have Izzy with us, as he is our social media guru, graphic designer and a great advocate, and bringing others to volunteer, including a new SBFPS friend - Sepideh!

Q - How did hear about SBFPS and how did you get involved?
A - I was invited to a build day in 2007 to expand the barn and better accommodate the residents. What a wonderful experience! Meeting the warm and welcoming volunteers was phenomenal, and meeting the monkeys was even better!

Q - Who is your favourite resident and why?
A - It's so hard to choose - they all have such amazing stories and personalities! George gets bonus points for sharing his life story (via hoops and hollers) with me every time I'm within viewing range, but I may have to go with Pockets. An endearing and charming yet very clever and deceptive little guy! He always wants to play with me and he giggles at my antics, but then he'll play the 'stupid human' game and try and grab me when I think he's being nice. Funny guy! Gotta love blowing bubbles and playing ball with him - he's never short of great entertainment!

Q - What has been a highlight for you at the farm?
A - I'm going to go with the day that Chelsea came over to the door and groomed my arm through the bars. She had warmed up enough to trust me, and the bond that was created was beyond explanation. To reach out and connect with an animal on such a level, especially when you share some degree of understanding, is one of the most amazing experiences a person can have. 

Q - What tips and advice would you share with others who want to get involved and help primates?
A - Do lots of research! Find out all about primate behaviour (so you know what to expect), primates in the wild and in captivity, their plight etc. Develop your passion by reading books that stimulate you on this topic: I have a whole list I can share for anyone interested. Research places you can get involved with helping primates, either indirectly or hands-on: such as at sanctuaries like this or wildlife rehabilitation centres and reserves abroad - the Jane Goodall Institute is a good place to start looking! Why not begin by donating to or volunteering with SBFPS? And finally, get those experiences and find out what you enjoy the most - whether as a career or as a volunteer and committed citizen, keep doing them! The primates need all the help they can get :)

Izzy, Thanks for all that you do!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Buddy gets a cast!

Dr. Janice bonds with Samantha! Buddy gets back to his food!
A smiling Buddy after he has been released!
The fiberglass sock is removed from Buddy's foreleg.
Preparing the fiberglass sock to create a support for Buddy's foreleg.
Buddy gets fitted for his cast! He is resting over a bale of straw and his horns are held so they can't injure anyone!

Chelsea and Nan get a new bedroom!!!!

It finally happened yesterday!

At the beginning of the process, Chelsea and Nan were lured into the lovely sunshine so Leonard and Malcolm and various other helping hands could clean out and replace the bottom on the old box. As time went on, the girls came back in - Leonard and Malcolm were needed to help work with Buddy who is having a support made for his front legs.

Once the girls came in, they would not go out again - they watched all the proceedings from one of their perches.

And the new box went up, with terraced walkways to the old box, rope handles to help old Nan get from A to B, new stairways - all sorts of wonderful things that I am sure they spent (and will spend) lots of time exploring! Steph added some lovely trees, and everything looks great for them!

As for Buddy - he was a patient and good goat, had his sock put on and waited until the cast dried and was removed. Hopefully when the process is entirely complete, he will be more mobile!

Another good day at the farm!!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

SBFPS Summer Events

Hi everyone! I hope it is a gorgeous day where you are! Summer is always a busy time at the sanctuary and this year we are hosting a number of events. The need to help primates in Ontario is growing, so we need to answer the call. This means growing our supporter base, raising awareness, and fund raising. We all like to enjoy the great outdoors during the warm weather and we ask that you include the monkeys in your summer dreams!

SBFPS - Chili Fundraiser
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
6:30 - 10:00
Sadie's Diner & Juice Bar
504 Adelaide Street West

Come on out and enjoy all you can eat vegan chili
Minimum suggested donation $10.00

Would you like to come and take a tour of the sanctuary?
Please join us on the following Sundays:
June 12
July 3
August 14
September 4
12:00 - 4:30PM

Donation $50.00 per adult/$25.00 per child
Tax receipts will be issued

Baseball Tournament
Saturday, July 23, 2011
9:00AM - 3:30PM
Sunderland Baseball Diamonds
For more information or to register a team, please contact Jennifer

Hope to see you all soon!