Mickey, a white-faced capuchin monkey, used to be someone’s pet in Louisiana. He was kept in a small wire cage, hidden deep in the woods, and did not get the proper care he needed. It’s unknown how long Mickey had been kept out there before he was found, and then eventually confiscated by animal control. Now, Mickey resides at Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary in Florida, and has since 2001.
Another monkey that now resides at the same sanctuary, a weeper capuchin named Ebi, was rescued as well, but the process didn’t happen as easily. Ebi’s former owners gave him to Angie and Randy Walker, a couple who was well-known for taking in unwanted animals, in 2003. The couple didn’t have much experience with monkeys, so they were hesitant, but the former owners threatened to shoot Ebi if they didn’t take him.
The couple kept him in a carrier in the garage while they contacted the sanctuary. Unfortunately Ebi escaped the carrier and was on the run. He had been spotted several times while he was missing, but no one could get ahold of him. He kept managing to get away every time, and even bit a woman while he was loose. Lee Ward, a former staffer at Jungle Friends, knew she had to find Ebi. She worried that he wouldn’t survive the freezing winter temperatures, and was afraid that since he had bitten a person, that if found, authorities would euthanize him.
She camped out at the last place he was seen and began eating chips in the hopes that Ebi would come out of hiding. She was successful and Ebi eventually came up to her, freezing and starving. She brought him to the sanctuary where together, Ebi and Mickey became known as the “bad boys” of the sanctuary. Mickey never got along with the other capuchins at the sanctuary, and Ebi was just as unfriendly.
Someone there suggested putting Mickey and Ebi together, but everyone thought it was a horrible idea. They didn’t think putting two alphas together would turn out to be good. But they tried it out anyway and it turned out to be better than good! Kari Bagnall, founder of Jungle Friends, said it was the best thing they ever did!
Ebi and Mickey have been inseparable ever since! When Ebi dislocated his hip a few years ago, he had to leave Mickey behind and spend a week in the clinic to recover. When Ebi returned, Mickey was ecstatic. He showered him with love and attention and showed a side of him that the staff had never seen before.
A month after Ebi’s return, staff took a picture of Mickey holding Ebi so close, with his face in his chest. This picture captures all of the love they have for each other. They are always playing together and are the best of friends. “I’ve never seen monkeys play so much,” Bagnall told The Dodo. “They love each other in every way that there is…they’re just like soulmates.”
Watch their adorable reunion in the video below: