Bob Barker donation will give California research monkeys a home
Television host and animal advocate Bob Barker has donated about $200,000 to a monkey sanctuary to give five California research monkeys a retirement home.
The gift from the former “Price Is Right” host will send five monkeys, which otherwise likely would have been euthanized, to Mindy’s Memory Primate Sanctuary in Oklahoma sometime in late summer or early fall, the sanctuary announced Tuesday.
Bob Ingersoll, president of the Mindy’s Memory board of directors declined to say specifically how much Barker donated but said the $200,000 figure reported by the Associated Press was in the “ballpark.” He declined to name the specific lab the monkeys are coming from but did say that researchers there are working to “socialize” the monkeys before they travel east.
“Obviously these monkeys are compromised socially because they’ve been in little tiny boxes for years, generally,” Ingersoll said. “We’re trying to get these five particular monkeys to know each other so that they have worked out their differences before they get to us.”
“To be monkeys,” he said, “you have to be around monkeys.”
Ingersoll said it’s extremely expensive to house monkeys after they retire from lab work. He said monkeys tend to live for between 10 and 12 years after arriving at their facility at a cost of about $12,500 per monkey per year.
He said Barker called him three weeks ago, saying he had researched Mindy’s Memory and wanted to help. He called the former host “awesome” and “incredibly grateful.”
“He said he was happy to support us and the work we do overall,” Ingersoll said. “This money is earmarked for this particular situation, but later on down the road, who knows.”
Ingersoll also noted that monkeys, like household pets, should be spayed or neutered.
Photo: Bob Barker during a visit last month to Chimp Haven in Louisiana. Credit: Douglas Collier / The (Shreveport) Times via Associated Press