Center for Great Apes (Wauchula, FL)


  • Name:J. Kevin Hertell
  • Title:Managing Director

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Center for Great Apes
  • Address:P.O. Box 488
    Wauchula, FL 33873
    United States

Organization Phone

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

Organization Web

User Phone

  • Direct phone:863-767-8903 - 230
  • Mobile phone:863-448-3822

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • The Center for Great Apes' mission is to provide a permanent sanctuary for orangutans and chimpanzees who have been retired from the entertainment industry, from research, or who are no longer wanted as pets. The Center provides care with dignity in a safe, healthy, and enriching environment for great apes in need of lifetime care. Through this work, we also strive to be a resource center for education to both children and adults teaching about these endangered primates and the necessity for their conservation in the wild, as well as their protection in captivity.

  • History:
  • The Center for Great Apes has roots in the rainforests of Borneo, where over twenty five years ago in 1984, founder Patti Ragan spent several months volunteering at a rehabilitation project for wild orangutans. Five years later, because of her previous experience with orangutans in Borneo, Patti was asked to help care for a four-week old infant orangutan at a small bird park in Miami. Thinking that the infant was going to eventually live with other orangutans at an AZA accredited zoo, she was disheartened when the owner said he was sending him to a trainer for circus work. Due to several circumstances, including a serious illness that affected the infant, he was not sold to the circus, and the owner later agreed to allow Patti the opportunity to find an appropriate captive home for the infant.

    She soon learned that most accredited zoos did not want a mixed Bornean/Sumatran orangutan … especially one that was hand-raised. Realizing that there were little or no opportunities for placement in an AZA accredited zoo, and that there would never be a chance for him to live in the wild, Patti set out to find a sanctuary for the orangutan infant. However, in 1990, there were only two primate sanctuaries in the United States, but none that had orangutans or experience caring for them.
    Wishing that someone would start a sanctuary in the U.S. for orangutans that could not be cared for at major zoos, or be returned to the wild, Patti decided to establish a nonprofit organization for that purpose.

    While still volunteering to care for the now one-year-old infant orangutan at the Miami bird park, Patti was then asked to also give foster care to an infant chimpanzee for a few months. But, at that point she was told the little chimp would be sold for work at the Universal Studios tourist attraction in Orlando when he turned 18 months old. Suddenly the idea of an orangutan sanctuary became an orangutan and chimpanzee sanctuary, as she could not let the infant chimp be sold into entertainment.

  • Year established:1993
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:11
  • Advisory board size:
  • Staff size:21


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:509(a)(1)
  • Tax ID:65-0444725

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:650444725
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:
  • Organization Address:PO BOX 488
  • Organization City:WAUCHULA
  • Organization State:FL
  • Organization Zip:33873-0488
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1, 2
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization, Educational Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:March, 1994
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):355
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Wildlife sanctuary or refuge
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:September, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:September
  • NTEE Code:D340
  • Asset Amount:$4,082,730
  • Asset Code:6 ($1,000,000 - $4,999,999)
  • Income Amount:$1,895,829
  • Income Code:6 ($1,000,000 - $4,999,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$1,535,151
  • Last Updated:2/25/2018 5:50:59 am

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.