SAN ANTONIO -

After spending their lives in a pharmaceutical research laboratory in upstate New York, nine female baboons are now living in a sanctuary in Dilley, Texas.

The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary said the baboons, ages 13 to 23, "will begin their new life in over a half acre enclosure with climbing structures, native habitat and five 20' X 20' covered safety areas," said Tim Ajax, director of the sanctuary.

He said the baboons will be gradually integrated into the facility.

This could be the first time some of them have grass under their feet and even get to socialize with one another.

"They have never before lived as a group and were housed singly for most of their lives," said Ajax. "Our long-term goals include a possible assimilation into a 2.5-acre enclosure which currently houses 10 other baboons. We would love them all to be together, but there are social and logistical adjustments ahead for them and we need to go at their pace."

About 13 percent of The Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary's primate population consists of monkeys previously used in research, said Adam Roberts, executive vice president of the sanctuary.

IMAGES: Retired research baboons find new home in South Texas

Published On: Sep 18 2013 03:58:10 PM CDT

After spending their lives in a pharmaceutical research laboratory in upstate New York, nine female baboons are now living in a sanctuary in Dilley, Texas.

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Brooke sees her new monkey neighbors for the first time.