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San Antonio Area Foundation helps primates in need


San Antonio, Texas— Primarily Primates sanctuary has received a $31,650 grant from the Aid to Helpless Animals Trust and Winnie Converse Tappan Charitable Trust of the San Antonio Area Foundation to construct a natural habitat for 11 capuchins.

Capuchins are indigenous to Central and South America, and in the wild they live in groups of 10–40. Their intelligence is well documented—they not only use tools, but they teach their offspring how to perform complicated tasks using tools too. 

Many people know what a capuchin monkey looks like because they routinely make appearances in blockbuster movies and pop singers’ music videos. Unfortunately, then people buy capuchins and pretend they are human babies by dressing them up in diapers and infant clothes. However, when capuchins mature at two years of age, they get aggressive and violent, and that’s when owners realize too late that primates don’t make good pets. Then they turn to Primarily Primates.

Primarily Primates, which is managed by Friends of Animals, will use the grant to construct a 35’ by 35’ by 20’ natural habitat that will improve the capuchins’ overall well-being by encouraging their natural social behaviors. In addition to having an incredible space, the capuchins will have many different lengths of fire hose to climb and plenty of room to jump from tree to tree. A shallow naturalistic pool will also be added, which will allow the primates to cool down in the hot summer months and provide opportunities for enriching water play.

“This project will be life-changing for the 11 capuchins, and it’s because of the generosity of the Area Foundation. Capuchin monkeys are very social and their new habitat will encourage them to interact more frequently through vocalization calls, play, chasing and even grooming each other,” said Brooke Chavez, executive director of Primarily Primates. 

Located on 78 acres just north of San Antonio, Primarily Primates is a non-profit organization that provides sanctuary for more than 400 rescued animals,  which include apes, monkeys, and birds. The animals who call Primarily Primates home share a history of exploitation from the exotic pet trade industry, the movie and TV entertainment industry, and circuses, as well as animal research. 

The Area Foundation, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014, makes grants from funds established by individuals, families, businesses or other entities to support charitable causes. The Area Foundation manages more than $250 million in assets and has distributed more than $230 million for scholarships and grants to educate youth, preserve the environment, protect animals, fund research and provide services that enhance the quality of life in our region.