AGUA DULCE, Calif. - Chrissy the baboon hangs out with the macaque, next to the capuchin monkeys. None of these animals would be in the same pack in the wild, but at Animal Tracks Inc., they manage to not only get along but thrive together.
The Agua Dulce sanctuary houses animals that can't be returned to their natural habitats. Most of them were owned illegally by their previous owners and many were previously abused.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the funding for maintenance and food for the animals came from donations and educational visits. Now that both have completely stopped, the animal sanctuary needs the public's health more than ever.
Beyond any restrictions from health officials, there is an underlying issue: primates, like humans, can get infected with coronavirus.
"We can't afford to get them exposed," says Stacy Gunderson, who has run the rescue for years. "We can't afford to have visitors and now, we are finding it hard to afford the sanctuary without the funds that would have been donated by those visitors.
They are hoping people will see some of their residents in our story and reach out to provide the sanctuary some much-needed help. Money is probably the best option for the sanctuary, but some of the critters are hoping for Christmas presents from Rudolph, as FOX 11 reports the beloved reindeer is in charge of taking orders from fellow animals for Santa Claus.
The hybrid wolves are hoping for some soup bones, the Patagonian maras would love some toys. As for Chrissy, she received tropical fruits and peanuts for the holidays.
You can also follow the latest on the animals on all social media platforms, @animaltracksinc.