Castore and Polluce, our rhesus macaques


These two rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) are witnesses to the reality of animal experimentation practiced in many Italian laboratories.

In fact it is from one of these places that one day the Park received a request from an laboratory worker. A macaque proved to be particularly annoyed by the imprisonment, by the continuous administration of substances to be tested and by the manipulations, so he responded to such abuses by throwing feces and creating other problems.

In the strange mind of those who manage to use the hours of their lives in activities that harm and kill other living beings, evidently this animal had shown to have a character, to know how to rebel, not to be an object that the experimenters could have at will.

“Incredible”, they must have thought, “this subject considers feces as waste material and uses them to provoke repulsion and thus protect itself”. Someone was then mobilized to find another accommodation and received the necessary permissions to proceed to the transferred. Once in place Laura and Antonio, the founders of the Park, were faced with a wall of cages as far as the eye could see and with a cruel choice to operate: they could take away another macaque with them to give a companion to what he had gained freedom with his indomitable personality.

Castor, the rebel.

Macaca mulatta are intensely used in medical and biological experimentation. In fact the common name of these animals is rhesus macaques, from the name of the blood factor Rh.

Polluce, the weakling.

Compared to the thick fur of Castor, that of Polluce is a bit felted. Polluce evidently suffered from deprivation, lack of sunlight and inadequate food during imprisonment.

Every single cage contained a soul that did not ask anything else but to get out of there, get back what was his life before the capture or in the case of specimens born in captivity to find out what should have been the life of a macaque : trees, fruit , seeds, complex social relationships, rain and sun rainforests, smells, a thousand other strange forms of life with which to share space, affection, love, chases, struggles, in short : to be.

Our rebel is called Castore and the friend chosen among many other possible friends is called Polluce.

While Polluce is quiet and peaceful, Castor has only partially blunted his character, an attitude typical of those who have suffered too many disappointments and prevarications in order to totally lower their guard. Being able to enjoy fresh fruit every day, to experience the alternation of the seasons, to touch the grass and the flowers and to climb can not replace the jungle, the Buddhist temples and the mountains but we must intervene in prevention.

Counteracting the capture, breeding and trade of these animals and stopping the deforestation of their natural habitats is the only way to restore what the unconditional progress of human society has taken away from them.

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Castor in all its strength and presence of mind.

Polluce spends most of the time selecting plants, flowers and shoots. He digs into the ground in search of roots and its food of choice among those that we make available to the monkeys is definitely the salad.