Archive for the ‘stories’ category

Saying Goodbye

January 16th, 2017

By Mary Lynn Campbell

chewie common marmoset pictures

I spent the last part of this year trying to not only run a “Hospice-care” for my beloved Chewie, but to also try to prepare myself for loosing him. I hope after reading this “Special Topic” and seeing the photos, that you will know (without a doubt) it was truly a wonderful experience to have him in my life.

I am very thankful for this set of photos. We had so much fun together. He loved to have his special “brush-you” time during each show and of course his very special “mirror” time. Even with his smallness he knew he was the “special star” of the SunShine MonkeyShine’s presentations. I must also add that he knew he was the boss of the troop of Capuchin monkeys as well! He grew to love my troop of monkeys and I feel that his love for the troop made him wish to stay with us as long as he possibly could.

Chewie was not always called my little monkey but I did know him for his entire life. The years that we were with each other were so very special as I am sure you can see from the photos that I am sharing. When he was with us for our presentations, he was chosen by many as their favorite monkey that was there for the special event.

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Let’s Learn More About Ring-tailed Lemurs with Rocky – Part 1

April 11th, 2014

By Donna Bandy

We got our first ring-tailed lemur Rocky 11 1/2 mos. ago, but before getting him, I learned a lot from a couple friends that have them and did a lot of research on them and amp-ted up my research and notes the closer I got to getting Rocky. Everyone kept telling me to get a male and not a female because the females are the dominate of the troop with lemurs. I already knew I wanted a boy anyways, however if my mind had of been set on a female, then a female is what I would have gotten. From all my many years of working with and training domestic and exotic animals, I already knew not to listen to that reasoning, for me, because I already know how to deal with those types of behaviors with dominant males and females.

» Read more: Let’s Learn More About Ring-tailed Lemurs with Rocky – Part 1

Project NIM on HBO

December 18th, 2012

​Raised like a child, studied as an experiment and returned to captivity when his animal instincts surfaced, Nim Chimpsky lived a life that was as exceptional as it was heart-wrenching.

​From the Oscar®-winning team behind “Man on Wire,” PROJECT NIM tells the story of the chimpanzee who was the focus of a landmark experiment to show that an ape could learn to communicate with language if raised and nurtured like a human child. Combining recent testimony from key participants with dramatic imagery and newly discovered archival film from the 1970s, the feature documentary follows Nim’s extraordinary journey through human society, chronicling his enduring impact on the people he meets.

​Winner of the World Cinema Documentary Directing Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, PROJECT NIM debuts THURSDAY, DEC. 20 on HBO.

» Read more: Project NIM on HBO

Life of Benji – Exotic Pet Store

February 19th, 2012

By now Benji, our capuchin, is about 1 year and 8 months old.  A week and a half ago, I found out that a new exotic animal stored opened up relatively close to where we live.  I was told they had monkeys there so needless to say I had no choice but to visit this store right away over my lunch break. While not for sale (no longer legal in Illinois), they had 4 java’s, 2 common marmosets, and a lemur. They also had a lot of lizards, a turtle that was “running” around loose and 2 kinkajous.  I talked to the owners for a while and found out that they encourage people to bring in their pets. I told them I had never taken Benji, our capuchin, to any store and was looking forward to come back with him and my wife.

The week couldn’t go fast enough and on Sunday we finally went with Benji to “Paws, Claws & Exotics too”, the name of this exotic animal store. This was actually the first time that Benji would have the opportunity to interact with similar species so I couldn’t wait to see how he would react.   As a matter of fact, I had never taken Benji to any store, so this was truly a new experience for both of us.

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Life of Benji – Mothersday

May 8th, 2011

it’s Motherday today so mission number one today is to make sure Pami, my wife, has all the peace she deserves.  Benji is therefore going to spent the entire day with his monkey dad.  Right now he’s up in our bedroom together with me, jumping from my shoulders to the bed and the dresser.  He’s leaping 7 feet with ease with these jumps and does it at a speed most people without monkeys would not be able to comprehend.

Remember how Benji used to have nose bleeds?  That stopped a few months ago.  We used humidifiers for a while but that didn’t really seem to make that much of a difference.  I guess the nosebleeds just slowly went away.

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Life of Benji – First Thanksgiving

October 25th, 2010

It is Thanksgiving and Benji just fell asleep in my lap.  Benji has definitely become way more active around the house in comparison to a month ago.  He’s still very clingy when I first come home from work but during the day when he’s spending time with my wife or when we’re watching TV together later on in the evening, Benji always loves to run around the house.    Yes, he basically gets into everything so we constantly have to keep an eye on him.  One of his favorite games is to kick everything off the living room table.  Once everything is on the ground, he seems happy.  I wonder if that is a habit that we’ll be able to break.

» Read more: Life of Benji – First Thanksgiving

Life of Benji – Exploring

October 17th, 2010

Until today Benji would always stay within 2 feet of me or my wife.  For the first time ever Benji decided it was time to start checking out the rest of our bedroom.  My computer is up in our bedroom so every night and weekend Benji and I spent most of our time together there.  In most cases he just spends his time on my lap and jump back and forward from my lap to the chair next to me where he has a little basket with toys in it.  Today Benji actually jump on the floor several times to check out the rest of his surroundings.  He’s still trying to play with the cats but in most cases the cats just leave after a while or give him a slap on the wrist.  They’re pretty gentle about it but at that time Benji knows it’s time to leave them alone.

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Life of Benji – One week at home

September 26th, 2010

We’ve had Benji for several days now.  The first few days he would just lie in my arms and cuddle but now he’s definitely started to become much more active.  While he is still very attached to me and my wife, he isn’t as scared to jump from my chair to the couch and back.  He won’t do it often yet but … he is started to explore a bit more.

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Life of Benji – Day 2

September 23rd, 2010

I set my alarm clock so I would wake up 15 minutes earlier.  These extra 15 minutes should allow me to make him a bottle, cut up some fruit, and change his diaper.  I also have to feed our raccoon who still likes to get a tray of kitten milk with cereal but I have already been doing that for months so that doesn’t require any additional time.  I’m one of those people who hates to get up early so everything is very much calculate in the morning so I can sleep as long as possible.  Everything didn’t go as smoothly as I was hoping for.  Changing the diaper was a major challenge so I left a few minutes late.  I decided to drive a little faster than normal which made sure still arrived at work in time.  I was so surprised when I walked towards my office.

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Life of Benji – Exotic Animal Auction

September 22nd, 2010

We’re ready to go to the exotic animal auction.  For the last few weeks I’ve been working really hard building on indoor enclosure in our house.  My wife was nice enough to give up her office space which allowed me to build a rather large monkey room in our house.  For once I really wanted to be prepared.  The indoor enclosure was huge for the pair of marmosets we were about to buy.

It took us 3 ½ hours to get to the exotic animal auction.  I’m not all that crazy about these auctions but the fact remains that you can really purchase exotic animals at a much lower price.  I haven’t been this nervous in a long time because purchasing a primate is a big deal.  Next up are the marmosets.  For once they have a rather large collection of marmosets for sale.  Suddenly doubt sets in.

» Read more: Life of Benji – Exotic Animal Auction