Member News

Sanctuary Spotlight: Center for Great Apes

We’ve probably all seen them on television or in movies—adorable chimpanzees who walk into a scene smiling and childlike, dressed up in cute clothing, appealing to audiences with their charm and human-like qualities. The entertainment industry capitalizes on this: but really, chimps are wild animals, and many of these “screen stars” are taken from their mothers too soon, and go on to live miserable lives.

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The Ugly Truth Behind This ‘Cute’ Video of Orangutan with Tiger Cubs

Social media has been all abuzz in recent days over a new video showing a young orangutan who’s taken it upon himself to “babysit” a group of little tiger cubs. But while this easy internet fodder certainly has an irresistible appeal on its surface, one needn’t dig too deep to realize that it’s not really cute at all. In fact, it’s actually quite saddening.

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Safe Haven

They’ve lived difficult lives: apes forced to perform at shows, or kept as exotic pets, then abandoned. But one Florida sanctuary is giving them a second chance.

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Center for Great Apes

An ape sanctuary hidden in the middle of Florida is making the impossible, possible. Patti Ragan, the founder of the center, dreamed of a place where apes can go after they retire from show biz, or just cannot be a pet anymore. In 1997, she established a place for these apes to live among others who have been in a similar situation.

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The Center for Great Apes, a Forever Home

For three weeks in 1984, Patti Ragan traipsed through the rainforests of Borneo, collecting ape feces, drying it out in the sun and poking through it for the seeds that helped researchers identify what the apes were eating in the wild. That short volunteer trip opened Patti’s eyes to the needs of the great apes and forever changed the direction of her life.

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Featured Building & Architecture Case Study: Center for Great Apes

With a winding maze of chutes and walkways woven throughout the treetops, the Center for Great Apes is a charitable organization created to provide sanctuary for chimpanzees and orangutans that have retired from the entertainment industry, completed research, or formerly served as pets.

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