During this pandemic, safety guidelines have been implemented at the Primate Rescue Center to restrict attendance to essential staff only. This is the safest thing possible, and I completely respect the decision made by everyone there, as I know it was surely a difficult decision to make. It is difficult for all of us volunteers not being there as well. Member Event day 2020 would have marked my one-year anniversary being a part of this wonderful organization, and I miss it dearly.
Thinking back to my first day here, I was scared. It was only a few days before Member Event, and of course, there was a lot of frenzied planning going on around me. I was excited and scared; I was finally going to be taking care of and seeing animals face to face that I had been studying for 3 years in college. Everyone’s first day is a roller coaster, and I was sore for at least three days after my initial introduction to the daily tasks of being an intern. It was hard, dirty work, but I knew in my heart after that first day that I didn’t want to do anything else with my life.
Being able to see what my work does for the chimps and monkeys is worth every second of being tired and sweaty at the end of the day. My favorite part of being a volunteer and intern at the PRC is that most, if not all, of the residents here were rescued from situations that weren’t good for them. Whether it was a research facility, a private residence, or a defunct zoo, none of them were treated correctly. But here, they are getting a chance at a better life. They get to interact with each other, have a proper diet and just be monkeys and chimps. I want to be able to give back to these primates that haven’t been able to have the most natural existences for their entire lives. I miss being a part of helping that happen. I miss being able to see their faces as they eat their fruit and vegetables, I miss seeing them interact with enrichment that we prepare for them, I miss being there to make their lives better in any way that I can. Even if I am not there in person at the moment, my heart is there every single day.
The pandemic of covid-19 has disrupted a lot of everyday life, but these primates still have to be taken care of every single day. The staff is doing an amazing job, and I am sure now that spring has finally arrived it is very busy down there. I truly can’t wait to get back to work and see everyone there, humans and primates alike, and help in any way possible. Everyone stay safe and keep doing the amazing work that you guys do every single day.