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We are thrilled to announce that Junior and Rocky are now companions living in the same enclosure! Thanks to the observations of the staff and behavioral team, Breanne Cyr, the Primate Behavior Specialist, was able to determine they would be a compatible pair.

Junior and Rocky came to Primates Inc in 2021 as individually housed monkeys with entirely different backgrounds. Junior (on left in the picture above) is a pig-tailed/lion-tailed hybrid macaque who had been a pet monkey and had likely never seen another monkey. Rocky is a rhesus macaque who had lived in a research lab and had likely seen many other monkeys in other cages. Despite their differences, these two have hit it off and are doing great together!

The successful pairing of Junior and Rocky gives us important evidence that in a sanctuary setting:
1. Pet monkeys and lab monkeys can be successfully paired together, even though their histories are vastly different.
2. A monkey who has lived alone his entire life, as Junior has, can still be successfully paired (and benefit from it!)
3. Monkeys such as Rocky and Junior can be paired even though they are two different species with two slightly different behavioral “languages”
4. Early indications show improved welfare for both monkeys compared to when they lived alone – a finding we hope for and expect in a successful pairing since primates are social animals
We hope that success stories such as these will promote sanctuary life for monkeys, when possible, regardless of their species or background. Additionally, we hope that sharing the information we gather from our successes (and hardships!) will help future monkey sanctuaries run smoothly as an increasing number of monkeys move to sanctuary life!

These two 16-year-old monkeys couldn’t be happier together!

Thanks to all of your support over the years, you helped make this happen for Rocky and Junior! To become a monthly sponsor for the sanctuary residents or to go shopping for them, please visit