Center for Orangutan & Chimpanzee Conservation DBA (Wauchula, FL)

Name

  • Name:Ms. Cynthia Pierce
  • Title:Director of Institutional Advancement & Outreach

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Center for Orangutan & Chimpanzee Conservation DBA
  • Address:Center for Great Apes
    P O Box 488
    Wauchula, FL 33873
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:863-767-8903
  • Main fax:863-767-8904

Organization Web

User Address

  • Address:5843 Van Simmons Road
    Wauchula, FL 33873
    United States

User Phone

  • Direct phone:863-767-8903
  • Mobile phone:561-222-3863

User Email

Location

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General

  • Mission:
  • The mission of the Center for Great Apes is to provide a permanent sanctuary, with dignity, in a safe, nurturing and enriching environment for orangutans and chimpanzees in need of lifetime care. We are the only great ape sanctuary in North American that accepts orangutans.

    The Center for Chimpanzee and Orangutan Conservation was first incorporated in Miami, FL in 1993 for the purpose of saving captive U.S. great apes being sold to roadside attractions and medical testing facilities, while also focusing on education about and conservation of these two endangered species. In 1997 a remote parcel of land was purchased in Wauchula, FL with the intent to provide a sanctuary for a limited number of great apes. Today, more than a decade later, the center has a new name, Center for Great Apes, and has 44 apes in residence, 13 orangutans and 31 chimpanzees. Two more chimpanzees have been accepted with arrival planned by the end of the fiscal year.

    One of the three largest great ape sanctuaries in the United States, the Center for Great Apes is frequently contacted to rescue new chimpanzees and orangutans, but must turn away many more than it can accept due to funding restrictions. We rescue chimpanzees and orangutans from the entertainment industry, roadside attractions, research facilities and from homes where they have been kept as pets.

  • History:
  • The Center for Chimpanzee and Orangutan Conservation was first incorporated in 1993, in Miami, FL by founder Patti Ragan for the purpose of saving captive U.S. great apes being sold to roadside attractions and medical testing facilities, while also focusing on education about and conservation of these two endangered species. After a trip to Borneo, where she worked for 6 months in an orangutan orphanage, Ms. Ragan sold her business in Miami, FL for over $1 Million and determined to invest the funds in creation of a sanctuary for orangutans and chimpanzees.

    Her voluntary work caring for orangutans and chimpanzees at the Miami Metro Zoo and Miami's Parrot Jungle attraction contributed to Ms. Ragan's conviction that capable and conscionable lifetime care for chimpanzees and orangutans was desperately needed. So, in 1997 a remote parcel of land, 25 acres, was purchased in Wauchula, FL with the intent to provide a sanctuary for a limited number of great apes. The sanctuary was started with two orangutans and three chimpanzees from those two Miami attractions.

    During her years as a docent at Miami Metro Zoo and Parrot Jungle, Ms. Ragan created and maintained a database of captive orangutans and chimpanzees in the United States, intent on reuniting ape families. Today, more than a decade later, that databas has played a seminal role in the creation of Project Chimp Care, a national chimpanzee welfare tracking organization.

    As a part of her work, Ms. Ragan works to encourage Hollywood and other entertainment animal trainers to abandon the working of great apes in movies, television and advertisements. In 2004, she was successful in convincing the largest user of apes in entertainment to forever abandon the use of apes in his business and transfer his 22 chimpanzees and orangutans to the Center for Great Apes, effectively tripling the ape population at the Center.

    Today, the sanctuary covers approximately 120 acres of tropical hammock and orange groves. Nine great ape nighthouses with attached three storey domed habitats house the current population. These habitats and nighhouses are connected by approximately one mile of enclosed treetop trailways which enable the apes to circumnavigate the sanctuary grounds, visit with other apes, go to their veterinary appointments without being caged, and experience changes in scenery and habitat so essential to their nomadic natures.

    due to financial constraints, only those apes in the most dangerous and/or unhealthy circumstances can be considered for admission to the Center. The Great Ape Rescue Fund has been created to help provide the funds necessary to fund the costs of rescuing and caring for great apes in need of permanent lifetime sanctuary: veterinary, transport, licensing, food, legal and housing expenses.

  • Year established:1993
  • Endowment:Unknown

Staff

  • Executive / Trustee board size:13
  • Advisory board size:0
  • Staff size:23

Registration

  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:63-0444725

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