Change the scenery!
Monkeys yearn for opportunities to explore
and experience new things every day. Being
kept in the same unchanged cage day after
day without adequate enrichment can cause
severe depression & anxiety, which can lead
to aberrant and often times self destructive
Monkeys love the water!
In the wild, macaque monkeys enjoy playing
in water. They leap from tree branches, cliffs
and ledges into lakes, streams and even the
ocean, where they can cool off in hot
weather, and search for shellfish and other
aquatic enrichment.
OPR addresses complexities, realities of
captive primates
There are vast numbers of captive primates
currently needing placement in sanctuaries all
over the country, who are already full or
reaching full capacity.

Most of those needing placement are private
pets who've become too dangerous for their
humans to manage.

OPR educational presentations provide
information about the complexities involved in
caring for captive primates, and why they are
not a good choice as a pet, and about the state
of primates in the wild.

For the sake of primates currently kept in
captive environments, OPR offers consultation
to all that come, to promote humane conditions,
the best nutrition, and the best enrichment
programs possible.
Primates have unique and complicated health care needs.  Most veterinarians are not  willing or able to provide adequate health care for pet monkeys. And to make
matters more difficult, attempting to capture and transport a sick pet monkey to a veterinarian, a pet monkey who has become too aggressive for the owner to handle, can
be dangerous and nearly impossible! Our primate veterinarians sometimes partner with human specialists in various medical fields to provide comprehensive medical
services to our primates. Macaques are vaccinated with human vaccines such as measles, mumps, rubella, polio and tetanus.
(The same vaccine used on human
Many human viruses such as chicken pox, and certain cold and flu viruses which are relatively harmless in humans, can be fatal in some primate species!
Because monkeys are primates, like us, they do not latently carry the rabies virus. Because we are in an area where rabies infected wildlife is rare and because our
primates do not come into contact with any wildlife, we typically don't vaccinate for rabies.
Captive primates need daily enrichment
items and activities to keep them mentally
stimulated. Without adequate stimulation
they often become neurotic,depressed
and dangerous.

In the wild, every day brings new and
exciting things to explore. New territories
with unexplored streams, unique rock
ledges and a variety of birds and insects
to chase and eat.

Even the most enriched life in captivity  
pales in comparison to living a natural life
in the wild.
Action Facilitates
Endodontist 'Dr. Jeff' arrives by plane to perform a root canal on
Holly's broken tooth! With years of previous experience working
with macaques he was the perfect choice when Holly broke her
tooth and needed a root canal! It's important to have
professionals available in every area of expertise when
addressing our macaques medical issues!
Did you know that normal values used for diagnostics in monkey testing is different for monkeys kept primarily indoors than out. And that not all monkey species have
the same values? It's very complicated! That is why it is so important to work with a veterinarian and a lab who understands the variables in non-human primate testing!

Not all primate species are susceptible to the same viruses. There are unique virus testing panels and cultures specifically designed and recommended  for primates in
each of the following groups: Macaques, Asian species, African monkeys, New World Monkeys and Apes. In addition to the virus panels, a comprehensive stool culture is
recommended for all primate species.                                                                                                                 
OPR volunteer Kayla spends a year in Indonesia, learning
about natural behaviors of Black Crested Macaques
Monkeys are not humans, but they do share many similar physical
characteristics such as pictured in the fetal appearance (left) and unique
hand and finger prints (right).

They  share human emotions such as depression, happiness,  loneliness,
jealousy, anger, love, and grief from the loss of family members or friends.
Like humans, monkeys choose their own friends.

Their innocent appearance and human like features when they are infants
makes them appealing to those considering a pet. There's nothing cuter than
a baby monkey!

But as monkeys mature, their wild instincts become stronger. They become
larger, messier, more aggressive and difficult to safely manage in captivity.

99% of those who acquire an infant monkey will be trying to find a 'new home'
for their monkey within the first 5 years. Most species can live anywhere from
35-45 years in captivity. The sad reality is that almost every case ends in
disaster for both humans and monkey.
Macaque Hand Print
From left; Wangxi, Terry, Heather and Zhangmin,  taking
shelter from the rain in a rock cave. Wangxi and Zhangmin
are graduate students at Anhui University working with Dr. Li
Looking down onto the viewing platforms
from a 'monkeys view point' in the jungle...
The YA-2 troop
foraging for
Education Inspires Action...
2020  Official Website
Dr Jeff and his assistant Tina
comfort and watch over Holly until
she is fully recovered from
Fixing Holly's broken tooth
Enrichment                                                                Health Care
                                                  Providing adequate health care for a pet monkey can be difficult if not impossible for a private owner!
Monkeys Don’t Wear Diapers
Author Polly Schultz provides insights into the remarkable lives of monkeys at
OPR Coastal Primate Sanctuary

The legal and illegal trade in monkeys is staggering. These monkeys are
almost always condemned to a horrible life, as even their most basic
needs are well beyond the capacity of most people to handle.

In Monkeys Don’t Wear Diapers: Heartwarming and Heartbreaking Stories
from a Monkey Sanctuary, author Polly Schultz tells the stories of a
special group of monkeys who have come to OPR Coastal Primate
Sanctuary (OPR)—which Schultz founded in 1998 and continues to direct

Some of the monkeys at OPR came from merely misinformed people who
meant no harm, but were overwhelmed by the burden of caring for a
monkey. Others were horribly mistreated by abusive owners, who
reacted with anger or abandonment when the bewildered animal failed
to become a tame and docile pet. Still others were retired from research
institutions after they were no longer needed for experiments.

Each chapter of the book, published by Animal Welfare Institute (AWI)
and co-authored by AWI laboratory animal advisor, Dr. Kenneth Litwak,
gives the reader a brief glimpse into the life of a different monkey taken
in by Schultz.
Click here to learn more about the book and to
order a copy
OPR interns Terry and Heather learn about primate behavior
from observing wild Tibetan Macaques in China
OPR resident "George" enjoys
a dip in the macaque pool
"Polly Schultz is among the world's leading experts on how to care for and love monkeys in need. In her landmark book, she
offers compelling stories of the awesome beings with whom she and her co-workers have tirelessly and selflessly worked at
OPR Coastal Primate Sanctuary. Monkeys Don't Wear Diapers is a game changer and deserves a global audience."  
MARC BEKOFF, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals and Rewilding Our Hearts
"Polly's stories about the monkeys she has teach us about their unique personalities as fellow animal
beings. It is a book made up of stories of abuse, compassion and caring."
ROGER FOUTS, co-founder of Friends of Washoe and author of Next of Kin
"As someone who has dedicated much time and effort in Congress to defending animal protection and welfare, I highly
recommend Monkeys Don't Wear Diapers for anyone who has a passion for animals. This book makes the compelling case
for why legislation is needed to prohibit the keeping of monkeys as pets"  
REP. JIM MORAN, co-chairman of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus (retired)
Reviews of "Monkeys Don't Wear Diapers
The Freedom Place
where they were meant to live out their lives and flourish!
Born To Be Wild
Observing how monkey's spend their days in the wild, provides great ideas for enriching the lives of our captive monkeys!
But also saddens us that no matter how great our captive enrichment program may be,
it simply pales in comparison to a life in the wild!