Here’s the simian scoop.
Primates Incorporated is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, aims to create an indoor/outdoor primate sanctuary that will house up to a maximum of 100 monkeys (rescued gradually over 10-20 years) and will provide tourism, volunteer, and employment opportunities in the local area.
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 resigned in 2004 and has been volunteering for Primates Incorporated 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.
We expect it will take us 6-18 months to raise $400,000 which 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 recently purchased 17 acres of land in Westfield, WI. Our immediate goal is to construct a public-use nature trail and parking lot by July 2015. We hope to use our progress to gain the support of at least 5-10 new foundations annually, as well as cultivate and maintain strong relationships with past donors.
We also host various fundraisers throughout the year to generate monthly income and to stay in the public eye.
We anticipate building up to eight 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.
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, development director, and 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 onsite daily who will assist in enrichment and diet preparation, gardening, behavior analysis of the monkeys, fundraising, and researching conservation issues.