Jane is a rhesus macaque who is one of two primates born at the Primate Rescue Center—despite our preventative measures. Each non-human male primate living at the sanctuary undergoes a vasectomy procedure by our veterinarian to prevent births in captivity. We still receive placement requests for primates in need, and we believe that allowing breeding in captivity is an irresponsible and unsustainable behavior for sanctuaries. However, despite our best efforts, accidents do happen and procedures must be repeated…twice sometimes!

Bailey (front) is the biological mother of Jane (center) and Sawyer (back).

Jane is the youngest of her family, currently living with her mother Bailey and brother Sawyer. Although she is the youngest of the group at 12 years old, Jane has reached the alpha position. This means that she gets the first choice at the feed baskets and where she would like to eat and play for the day. She occasionally chases her brother Sawyer away from one of the many feed baskets in their enclosure just to maintain her alpha status. Neither Sawyer nor Bailey seems to have any interest in challenging Jane’s status. Young female rhesus macaques are usually feisty and determined, and Jane is no exception. Jane had a very different upbringing than many of the primates living at the sanctuary since her mother Bailey raised her from birth. In order to become pets for humans, baby monkeys are pulled from their mothers’ arms only days after birth. This is a very traumatic separation for both mother and child because many monkeys do not physically separate from their mothers’ bodies for an entire year or more—not even for a moment. Even once they do venture away from the protection of their mothers’ arms, they are never very far away for many years to follow. No human can replicate what a monkey mother gives to her child—no matter how hard they try.

Jane (front) and Sawyer (back) are energetic and full of energy, making it difficult to take photographs of them. Props to my fellow caregiver Melanie for capturing this moment.

Jane loves to spend most of her time outdoors climbing, swinging, and bouncing around the enclosure. She really gets excited about meals and will fill her pouches with fruits and veggies—grapes and strawberries are her most favorite. To relax, Jane loves to groom with Bailey and Sawyer—since she is alpha, she sometimes is afforded the longest grooming sessions. However, she will return the favor most of the time!