The Primate Rescue Center is surrounded by lush green landscape that provides a shaded and secluded setting. Not only does this provide a peaceful sanctuary home for the residents, it offers access to lots of yummy browse for their diet!
The bulk of the primates diet consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, leafy greens and vitamin packed biscuits. Browse is an important part of their diet as well because it provides more fiber than many fruits and vegetables. Fiber is an essential element in their diet as their gut utilizes fiber to properly digest and metabolize the food they eat. Though we don’t have access to the native plants of the primates’ ancestral homes, there are tasty and suitable plants in our Kentucky backyard! Not only does browse play a key role in their diet, it is also a source of enrichment. Some of the primates like to rub leafs on their hair as a way to anoint themselves. Others like to chew, peal or manipulate the plant material. Since the foliage grows all over the property, we have a continuous source of browse for the primates to enjoy!
Martina chimpanzee sniffs these elm leafs before delicately plucking off each one to eat.
Breanna long-tailed macaque loves snacking on honey suckles leafs. She takes a few bites before carrying the branch up to a high platform in her enclosure.
Saidah barbary macaque especially loves her browse. When she sees caregivers heading her way with handfuls of leafs, she immediately starts to wiggle around and make happy food chirps. She wastes no time biting off every last leaf!
Bubbles long-tailed macaque patiently nibbles on the browse leaf by leaf, taking her time to savor each bite.
Zulu chimpanzee food barks loudly whenever she’s snacking on fresh browse!
We are in the process of expanding our browse program to offer a greater variety of browse to the primates. With the help of modern technology, we are able to easily identify the native wildlife growing around the sanctuary. Once browse has been identified as safe to eat, we can tag the trunk of the tree with an identifying mark that indicates to all caregivers that this tree is safe for snacking! Once we are aware of what species we have available, we can start making plans for what species we would like to cultivate. If you are interested in helping us grow our browse program, you can make a donation here.