How It All Began

Amy Kerwin founded Primates Incorporated in 2004 while working with 97 rhesus monkeys for five years in a laboratory at the University of Wisconsin. She thought the least laboratories and society could do is give back to the monkeys whenever possible by retiring them into enriching and spacious sanctuaries.

She began networking with labs who had retirement programs in place and discovered existing sanctuaries often had to turn away laboratories due to funding and space constraints. Since her work environment did not believe in primate retirement, she resigned in 2004 to focus on developing Primates Incorporated into a spacious and enriching monkey sanctuary. She has been interviewing other sanctuaries and networking with primate retirement supporters for over 15 years. She is proud to say the sanctuary is a result of many caring individuals who worked together to get the sanctuary built to be able to help the first five rhesus monkeys retire to the sanctuary in 2018.

Amy believes that the least laboratories and society can do is give back to the monkeys whenever possible by retiring them into enriching and spacious sanctuaries.

Overcoming the Barriers to the Retirement of Old and New World Monkeys from Research Facilities

By Amy M. Kerwin

As a result of the paper she wrote in 2006 entitled “Overcoming the Barriers to the Retirement of Old and New World Monkeys from Research Facilities,” she is contacted by 1-2 researchers annually asking for advice on how to best retire their monkeys.

She also believes that, by reporting success stories and by retiring monkeys whenever possible, the number of monkeys retired from research facilities will increase and the act of retiring monkeys from research will become more of a common practice.

Our Sanctuary

Our vision for this sanctuary is to serve as a prototype for other communities to establish their own sustainable versions so that the thousands of primates who have a chance at retirement can live at a peaceful and spacious sanctuary, such as this one.

We anticipate building up to five separate building structures (capacity of 100 monkeys) gradually over the next twenty years.

We never want to reach our capacity, however, as we aim to place monkeys at species-appropriate monkey sanctuaries throughout the country when space is available.

Thank you to Midwest Modern for the stellar architectural design and use of the blueprints for this website.

Midwest Modern rendering of Primate geo dome overview

Our Innovative Housing

This design includes a spacious and secure indoor building that will have all-season greenhouses and outdoor structures during the nice weather; each sanctuary model housing 3-20 monkeys will fit on a ½ acre.

Midwest Modern rendering of Primate geo dome

Since thousands of monkeys could be retired if enough sanctuaries were available, Primates Incorporated also aims to serve as an innovative prototype for caring communities to be able to construct a sanctuary in any climate so no monkey is ever turned away from retirement again.

Our Environment

Located in the town of Springfield in Marquette County, Wisconsin, this beautiful plot of land will accommodate spacious and secure homes for future primates. It is 17.29 acres of mixed meadow and wooded areas. It is also home to a large swath of native Wisconsin flowers and plants, which we plan to help preserve the population of the federally-endangered Karner Blue Butterfly.

Random butterfly on Lupine plant
Primates Incorporated in summer
Primates Incorporated in fall
Primates Incorporated in winter

Our Staff

Amy M. Kerwin

Executive Director

Fallon Mullen

Animal Care Manager

Hilary Hemmes-Kavanaugh


Breanne Cyr

Primate Behavior
Rehabilitation Specialist

Amber Zorn

Animal Caretaker

A special thanks to the animal care volunteers who are helping the monkeys and saving costs for this nonprofit organization!


Board of Directors

Advisory Board

Organization Chart


2018 Donors


Balance Sheet

FY2018 Statement
of Financial Position


Primates Incorporated logo

A Delicious Part of a Peaceful Retirement