Freeman, Monkey Who'd Been Forced to Drink, Get High and Not Exercise, Is Rescued & in Texas

Sitting around not moving, surrounded by shit, eating a crap diet and getting high and drunk may be okay if you're a twentysomething Phish Phan, but it's not the best life for a monkey.

It's the life that was forced upon a long-tailed macaque named JR in Michigan, where some idiots got him as a pet and then pretty much ignored him except to force him to drink and get high when they felt like it, because that is so funny, man.

He was rescued, and just now is beginning a much better life at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Dilley, south of San Antonio. He'll join 500 other primates there and has a new name: Freeman.

"Freeman's unspeakably cruel situation is yet another example of the epidemic in this country that allows people to freely 'own' exotic wild animals as 'pets,'" said Adam Roberts of Born Free USA.

Here's how the group describes Freeman's former life:

He had never been let out to exercise, was never bathed, and never had his cage cleaned. His few toys and blanket were covered in six inches of feces, and his cage was kept in a dark room with no sunlight or fresh air. His diet consisted of dog food and table scraps and at times his owners would get him high on marijuana and drunk on alcohol.

Again, chances are you know someone who fits most of that description, but for them it's a matter of choice.

"This monkey was living a life of horror and we are doing everything we can to help him acclimate," said Born Free USA's Tim Ajax. "People who are frequently misled to believe that primates make good pets are often left to pick up the pieces when the cute baby animal they raised turns on friends and family members and becomes a danger to everyone in the community. In this case the owner had neither love for the monkey nor interest in picking up the pieces."

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly