Jungle News: Jersey's Journey
From Rescue to Rehab
June 12, 2013
Jersey is thriving today thanks to the choice we made to let him live.

You can view more photos on the
Jersey Boy Photo Album. Watch Jersey's videos on Facebook or on our website.

Dear Friend of Jungle Friends,   

Look into Jersey's eyes. Could you deny that face the chance to live? Sadly, Jersey is the face of a monkey that people gave up on. But we wouldn't even think about giving up on him.

When we got the call from a primate rescue facility where Jersey's humans had surrendered him, they described an unmanageable former pet who was self-mutilating. We have had success with many monkeys in the same situation, so we accepted Jersey and the challenges we knew he would bring.

Then we got a nasty surprise.

Jersey had bitten off one toe, but worse, the flesh of both feet was literally dying from his self-abuse. Our local vet (and hero), Dr. Schirmer, called specialists to locate tissue for skin grafts and help with amputations, but the answer from every expert he called was the same: "Euthanize the monkey."

This little monkey was only nine years old, and had barely had a chance to live. Now they wanted to kill him? Fortunately, Dr. Schirmer understands and supports the Jungle Friends monkey care philosophy, and he had another plan.

Jersey's journey
Jersey's journey went from bandages to prevent self-attacking, to surgery, to tickles and laughter. Please become Jersey's Monkey Sponsor! Help us give Jersey the gift of life.

In two surgeries, Dr. Schirmer and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Evans amputated part of Jersey's left foot, then his right leg. Right after he recovered from anesthesia, Jersey was already pulling himself up.

It has been a little over a week now since the surgeries, and this little fighter is recovering like a champ! He is in good spirits and has even started running around, using his tail as a leg. Monkeys' adaptability will never cease to amaze me! We have Loopy with only one leg, Don without a tail, Joni who walks on her hands and balances with her tail, two blind monkeys and fourteen diabetic monkeys -- all living full 'monkey lives' here. And now we are fortunate to witness Jersey's strong will to live and the beginning of his remarkable recovery!
Helene and Jersey
Jersey duty is 24/7, and we are taking turns keeping him occupied and safe. Even though he has completely stolen my heart, I know that humans are no substitute for monkey friends!

Jersey has one more surgery to reconstruct his left foot and then his fight will be psychological. For now, he is on medications to prevent further self-attacking. Once he is physically able to join other monkeys, he may completely stop self-attacking. Or, like some of the other monkeys here, he may need to stay on medication. Only time will tell. (You can help by making a donation  to help with Jersey's medical costs.)

Fortunately, our loyal supporters have practically come out of the woodwork to help with Jersey. Carla Haddix, DVM, long-time volunteer, is filling in until more staff are hired. Shannon, the husband of Kari's assistant Sara, is washing monkey food bowls and cutting produce. Our bookkeeper Elizabeth and her daughter Bri work in the monkey yard nearly every evening. Kathryn Quaas with Animal Warriors is here all week volunteering. Many of our sister sanctuaries, like Primate Rescue Center, Center for Great Apes, and the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance, are sending help. Even Jersey's humans are helping out!

Jersey prefers the company of men for his one-on-one care, and we found two good ones. Chance French is moving to Gainesville (see Chance's story below) and long-time supporter Claude Leasure has practically put his own business on hold to help Jersey. Even with Chance and Claude, we are understaffed and hiring right now. If you can help out around the sanctuary for a few days or weeks (you can stay on-site), or are looking for a position working with monkeys in a sanctuary setting, please email us or visit our opportunities web page.

Monkey Hugs,
Helene Goldson
Volunteer and Board Member

P.S. Jersey isn't our only special needs monkey right now. Murphy Brown is in the clinic fighting ketoacidosis (a complication of diabetes), and Elizabeth (little Gavin's mom) may have liver cancer. Please send healing, positive thoughts to them, because life is worth living!
A Second Chance for Jersey

by Chance French


A week ago I was lucky enough to be asked to come to Jungle Friends to help out with Jersey, and from the moment I stepped on the property I realized this was a magical place. Jersey prefers to hang out with guys, so I have the special privilege of being one of his primary caregivers. Due to his injuries he needs to be closely watched 24/7, so my main job is to draw his attention to anything other than his bandages. We play, we eat, we watch movies, we go for walks so he can meet the other monkeys. Jersey is funny about women, and seems to be very offended when one tells him to stop picking at his bandages. He makes the funniest unhappy face with his lips and brow, followed by a few choice capuchin words which we've all come to understand.


This morning I noticed him pulling the stuffing out of a teddy bear, and realized he had emptied out the bear's right leg! The three-legged monkey has made himself a three-legged bear. Jersey is an extremely vocal boy and makes it clear what's on his mind, but this time he didn't have to make a sound.


Jersey has made my job thus far very easy, other than a lack of sleep as he seems to be a night owl. As far as roommates go, he is definitely one of my favorites. After only a week, I can't imagine life if I had never met this special little guy. I look forward to the days to come, watching Jersey flourish at Jungle Friends. 

Jersey's boys 2
Meet the "Jersey Boys!" Jersey prefers men, so our guys are spending lots of time with him. Chance French (top right) and Claude Leasure (left) like to take him outside to see the other monkeys climbing high in their habitats. Jersey even got a visit from his human "uncle," who stopped in to see what he could do to help. Watch how Jersey reacts when Chance takes him outside.
The Jungle Friends Sanctuary Philosophy

Jungle Friends is a safe haven where life means everything. No matter how sick, how injured, how much they are suffering mentally, every single monkey deserves a chance for a better life. We do the best we can to make up for the neglect, exploitation or abuse they might have suffered at the hands of humans. We know that it taxes our resources, but everything taxes our resources. The monkeys' lives come first.  


In a place where monkeys are living out their entire lives, we're often faced with debilitating and/or incurable illnesses or just plain old age. If there really is nothing more to be done for them, we embrace the Hospice Philosophy. We do not hasten death, instead managing pain and other symptoms so that their last days may be spent with dignity and quality, in the company of loved ones in familiar surroundings. How could we do anything else?


Learn more about the Jungle Friends mission and guiding principles here.

Loopy demonstrates that getting around is easy with only one leg!
He keeps up well with the other four bachelors sharing his habitat.