SMALL TOWNS PREVIEW: Visiting the monkeys at the primate sanctuary

Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 6:56 AM CDT
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MARQUETTE COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A Wisconsin sanctuary is providing forever homes for monkeys from research facilities.

Thursday in Small Towns, Jeff Alexander travels to Marquette County to visit Primates Incorporated.

There are more than 100,000 monkey in research, but only nine monkey sanctuaries in the United States. In 2003, while working in a research lab at the University of Wisconsin, Amy Kerwin fell in love with the rhesus monkeys. She was heartbroken over their confinement. The next year, she founded Primates Incorporated.

Over the next 10 years, Amy spent her time raising money and awareness. In 2014, the nonprofit bought 17 acres in Westfield and built the sanctuary.

Today, 11 monkeys call it home.

“So even if one percent of them could be sent to sanctuary, there’s just simply not enough funding out there for sanctuaries right now, but I’m trying to change that, really make Primates Inc. part of the community and show the need out there so that there can be a sanctuary established in every state so no monkey ever gets turned away again,” Kerwin says.

Staff and volunteers help provide the monkeys with a life they’ve never known.

Thursday on Action 2 News at 6, Jeff takes us to the sanctuary.

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