5 Rhesus Monkeys Trade Laboratory Hell for New Life in Sanctuary

Bob Barker donated $200,000 to finance the relocation of the primates to Oklahoma.

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Rhesus monkeys became "famous" primates through Harry Harlow's televised psychological experiments, which yanked newborn monkeys from their mothers and raised them in isolation. (Photo: Lindsay Brown)

The world’s most compassionate game show host has done it again.

Thanks to Bob Barker’s generous $200,000 donation, five rhesus monkeys from a California research lab will spend the rest of their lives at Mindy’s Memory, a sanctuary in Newcastle, Oklahoma.

The AP reports that the unidentified research lab worked in conjunction with Mindy’s Memory Primate Sanctuary and the dedicated folks at Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) to work out the details of the transfer.

“We are incredibly grateful to Bob Barker for this remarkable gift, which will have a major impact on our organization and the primates we care for,” said Bob Ingersoll, B.S., M.S., President of Mindy’s Memory Board of Directors. He is better known for his work with the chimpanzee Nim Chimpsky as seen in the award-winning documentary Project Nim.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to give a home to these five monkeys from California,” said Linda Barcklay, Founder of Mindy’s Memory. “Mr. Barker is one of the great champions for animals and their rights.”

“Our work is not only about raising public awareness about animal rights; we also want to insure that retired research animals have an opportunity for a new beginning. The animals always win when everyone works together.”

“We are elated to have been involved in placing these lab monkeys at Mindy’s Memory,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN.  

Mindy’s Memory provides a lifelong home for retired research monkeys and ex-pets in a safe and healthy environment.

Currently, 100 monkeys, as well as several potbellied pigs, a few dogs, cats, and other formerly homeless animals, live on the sanctuary, which was named for the first rhesus macaque rescued by founder Linda Barcklay.

Should animals be used to test new medical drugs?

Jocelyn Heaney is an English instructor, animal activist and freelance writer for L.A. Review of Books and Warner Bros. Pictures, among others. Her favorite animals are great white sharks, horses and all cats. She is currently at work on a memoir. Email Jocelyn | @JocelynHeaney