Here’s the simian scoop.
Primates Incorporated is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and we are constructing an enriching indoor/outdoor primate sanctuary that will house up to a maximum of 100 monkeys over the next twenty years as we build up to five of our innovative indoor/outdoor sanctuary models that are estimated to cost $225K each.
Amy Kerwin founded Primates Incorporated in 2004 while working with 97 rhesus monkeys for five years in a laboratory at the University of Wisconsin. She thought the least laboratories and society could do is give back to the monkeys whenever possible by retiring them into enriching and spacious sanctuaries. She began networking with labs who had retirement programs in place and discovered existing sanctuaries often had to turn away laboratories due to funding and space constraints. Since her work environment did not believe in primate retirement, she resigned in 2004 to focus on Primates Incorporated and has been networking and volunteering ever since. As a result of the paper she wrote in 2006 entitled “Overcoming the Barriers to the Retirement of Old and New World Monkeys from Research Facilities,” she is contacted by 1-2 researchers annually asking for advice on how to best retire their monkeys.
She also believes that, by reporting success stories and by retiring monkeys whenever possible, the number of monkeys retired from research facilities will increase and the act of retiring monkeys from research will become more of a common practice.
View our Sanctuary page for information on our location and building structure information.
View our Residents page to view species of monkeys that we will be housing, once buildings are constructed.
$385,000 will cover the construction of our first primate sanctuary enclosure (spacious indoor greenhouse environments attached to outdoor enclosures that will house up to 15 monkeys), a house for animal care staff, a waste-storage/composting site, a perimeter fence (required by the USDA), and six months of operating costs.
To serve as a prototype for other communities to establish their own sustainable sanctuaries so that the thousands of primates who have a chance at retirement can live at a peaceful and spacious sanctuary.
Progress & Timeline
We purchased 17 acres of land in Westfield, WI in 2015. We constructed a nature trail, installed a driveway and parking lot, and began construction on the monkey sanctuary in the fall of 2015 and we have been building what we can afford. Due to the angel lenders, Patrick and Mari Buchholz, who want to see the sanctuary built, and many generous supporters, our goal is to help three rhesus monkeys by October 31st, 2017.
We also host various fundraisers throughout the year to generate monthly income and to stay in the public eye.
We anticipate building up to five separate building structures (capacity of 100 monkeys) gradually over the next twenty years.
We never want to reach our capacity, however, as we aim to place monkeys at species-appropriate monkey sanctuaries throughout the country when space is available.
Economic Impact Statement
Primates Incorporated will involve the local and surrounding communities in the following ways:
Once the sanctuary is built, visitors will be able to view the monkeys from a distance and read educational plaques along their walk.
We will make every attempt to contract locally for building construction – timeline and construction of buildings will be contingent upon fundraising. We are excited to report 2017 is the year! We have created waiting lists for three rhesus monkeys with a laboratory from out of state.
Assist & Promote
In placing primates at appropriate sanctuaries as rescue scenarios arise, and promote primate rescue by recognizing the important work of existing primate sanctuaries.
Public Access Tours
To control the daily care routine of the primates, we will ask that access to the primate sanctuary be made by appointment two weeks in advance (we will allow 1-5 visitors per day). Volunteers and employees will have a different schedule of visitation to be determined. *Visitors cannot be allowed close contact with monkeys, in order to ensure everyone’s safety.
1-5 Employees – we will hire two animal caretakers to live on-site and care for the monkeys, employ an executive director, primate behavior specialist, and animal care manager. We will contract out maintenance, construction, and veterinary services.
We currently work with 3-5 volunteers per month in the areas of outreach, researching funding opportunities, and writing topic summaries. Once the sanctuary is built, we will involve 1-3 volunteers on-site daily who will assist in enrichment and diet preparation, gardening, behavior analysis of the monkeys, fundraising, and researching conservation issues.