According to the volunteer, everyone wants to feed the monkeys, but no one wants to clean (I mean really clean), clear brush or pick up garbage. She spent most of her time rounding up domestics for the SPCA (they are nearly all gone: turkeys, peacocks, chickens, geese, guinea pigs, pot-bellied pigs, horses, dogs and goats. There are still watusi cattle - think longhorn cattle on steroids, two emus and a few parrot types. The SPCA will be back for them.) Then, she worked in the aviary clearing brush so the poor tamarins will have a better home. The volunteer also said "you'll cry when you see what they are living in."
Volunteer's words: "There are lots of sad cases, but Daryll sticks out. He's a chimp that has been by himself for seven months inside a cage. No light except for what came under the door. The door is now open and he has access to two other inside cages, but that's it. Just makes you want to scream. Lee needs lots of support and help. They go back to court on Friday.....Everyone is saying silent prayers that it goes in the animals' favor."
Both general public and professional support are needed at PPI. Any experience working with primates will certainly be an asset, but definitely not required! There is much to do and a lot of bodies are needed to accomplish the tasks. Please let those with whom you're connected know that volunteering is on one's own expense and liability. You should be sure to have a current TB test and your flu shots if at all possible.
In addition to volunteers from various rescue and rehabilitation organizations, there are also primate keepers from several zoos who plan to make the trip. Some of those organizations to be represented include: Fort Worth Zoo, Hogle Zoo (Salt Lake City), Brookfield Zoo, Little Rock Zoo, a Maryland zoo, Texas A&M Vet School.
If someone cannot physically help, there are huge financial needs to get the animals taken care of. Due to pending investigations, all PPI assets have been frozen. Therefore, Donations are most welcome and needed. Please send donations to provide immediate care for the seized animals to:
Lee Thiesen-Watt, Receiver/Primarily Primates
26099 Dull Knife Trail
San Antonio, TX 78253
I'm going down on Monday (10/30), but anyone who shows up will be needed, appreciated and definitely have work to do - no need to wait for me. :) This project will take a long time, so even if you can't go right now, you're availability will be appreciated when you come.
As far as specific supplies, here's a starter list:
- Money (They've even set up a PayPal account)
- Chest Freezers
- washer dryer
- raw nuts
- bedding, bedding, more bedding
- old jeans