We wanted to do a full year in review to recap a rather extraordinary year for The Talkin’ Monkeys Project and here we go…
We were scheduled to do a brief 10 minute speech for the Audubon Society at their Big “O” Birding Festival, but when their guest speaker stood them up at the last minute, we were asked to fill in with a full 90 minute lecture instead! This lead to a fortuitous meeting with the producer of a PBS documentary, Darlene Harris, who proceeded to film our entire lecture for her pending series Float the Watershed!
Darlene Harris and her production crew came and spent a whole day filming at the sanctuary. The documentary series was expanded to a series of five shows and at the time of filming, our project was slated to appear in three of the five episodes. FAU students came for observations projects. FGCU students came for lectures on primates and theory. We attended the International Primate Protection League biannual meeting in Charleston, S.C. We connected with our newest project…the first sanctuary in Nepal. We are now donating 10% of all monies donated to our project to this project.
Tom and I created and designed a complete “Green Building”, LEED program notebook to be handed out to potential clients of Owen-Ames-Kimball, Inc. The entire prototype was accepted as designed and the first sixty copies were put into action for the company quarterly meeting. We also responded to a request from the News-Press in Ft. Myers for information on what we do to go green. I outlined our conservation efforts and was subsequently contacted by the paper for an interview. We did a lecture for the Clewiston Christian School and were written up in the Clewiston News.
Kevin Lollar of the Ft Myers News-Press came to the sanctuary for an interview. The resulting article was published on the FRONT PAGE of the paper on April 15th with rave reviews. Owen-Ames-Kimball Company awarded us with a plaque of the front page article.
The response from the News-Press article was phenomenal and resulted in our first group volunteer orientation. We welcomed many new volunteers over the next few months as a direct result of this article. We met many new friends and two incredible photographers Marc Ellis and David Weber whose photos now grace our new web site.
Our new web site, generated by the News-Press article, edited by Nadine Slimak, (wife of Kevin Lollar!), and designed by PetWebPro.com went on line. The new towers for all of the capuchins and Hope and Tang were completed.
We had our cage raising party and the spiders got their new cage and night house. Chi Chi came to live with us. Our very special Lipizzan stallion Scotty was attacked and died as a result of his wounds…
August 9th Dobby, (now known as Jing Jing Dobby!), was born, much to our amazement to our old gibbons who we rescued because they were not able to breed!! It was very traumatic to watch Stitches learning to be a mother when she had never been allowed to keep her babies…then the sad reality of her age forcing us to rescue Dobby from his mother when she lost her milk. This was the beginning of an arduous process of hand raising this little gibbon boy.
The Caloosa Belle Newspaper interviewed us and another wonderful story appeared there. Again, we were fortunate to gain volunteers from this article as well.
September, October, November, December 2008
The fall has been spent concentrating on raising Dobby, arranging future fund raisers, scheduling a full lecture circuit for next year and developing an at risk youth project with the local sheriff’s department. I also wrote a chapter for the book to be known as “The Primate Anthology” compiled and edited by Dr. Lisa Kemmerer who I met at the primate conference in S.C. back in February. We began our painting project for fundraising next year. Tang went to live with Chi Chi and suddenly came back to live with Hope after about 6 weeks of unhappiness after a particularly abusive attack by Chi Chi. Don’t panic, Tang is fine and very happy again with Hope.
So, you can see this has been a momentous year for The Talkin’ Monkeys Project. Next year, is already off to a running start with towers planned for Monkey Boy and Stitches. We have been requested to do a lecture at the LaBelle Pet Festival and to appear as a featured rescue project there. We were accepted as a booth at the Swamp Cabbage Festival for fund raising. We are also doing a booth at the Hendry County Fair, and by request, doing a lecture there as well. I also have classes of students from Edison College, FGCU and FAU lined up as well for observations, cognitive studies and so on. We anticipate it will be a very full year. Please keep us in mind in all you do, this year as we will think of all of you…come when you can and visit. Good luck to all in 2009!
Thank you all,