JUNGLE FRIENDS PRIMATE SANCTUARY INC

Rating: 4.83 stars   104 reviews

Issues: Animals

Location: 13915 N State Road 121 Gainesville FL 32653 USA

Mission: The mission of Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary is to rescue and offer a permanent, safe haven for primates who have been abused, confiscated by authorities, used in research, kept as pets, or who are simply no longer wanted.
Results: We have provided a safe, permanent home to nearly 200 monkeys (as well as 6 rescue dogs and 5 parrots). All of our monkeys are housed in live habitats built on natural ground with plenty of plants for play, food, and hiding. Our goal is to make sure every monkey is introduced to a compatible monkey friend of the same or like species. They are given every opportunity to behave naturally in a wonderfully loving environment.
Programs: Saving Monkeys, Promoting Compassion.
2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 86-0859789
386-462-7779
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

As someone that's dedicated a lot of time at sanctuaries I can say it's one of the very best I've come across :)

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been volunteering for Jungle Friends for many years and every time I volunteer, I have a wonderful experience! The monkeys are great of course, but I have never met a more caring staff...I even received a personal thank you card from the Founder! The more time I spend at the sanctuary, the more I see how truly committed these awesome people are. I highly recommend volunteering for this amazing organization. Jungle Friends will change your life!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The monkeys who live at Jungle Friends are lucky to have a wonderful place to live out their lives. I have been volunteering there for about 10 years. It is rewarding to repair things and help the people who help the monkeys. The sanctuary is well run and there are a number of long term volunteers.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

nothing

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have volunteered at Jungle Friends for over 6 years now. Currently I help care for the special needs and singlely housed monkeys and am there 3-4 times and about 8-10 hours per week. I would volunteer more, but I work full-time. I have been rewarded far beyond my expectations or the hours I have volunteered or the money I have donated. The sanctuary provides the best life possible for the monkeys there and all employees and volunteers have their best interest at heart. Volunteering here may not be for everyone - the work is often physical and not glamorous. But I know I always leave there feeling better than when I arrived, knowing that, in some small way, I made a contribution to the lives of the monkeys who call Jungle Friends their "home. "

Mary Anne

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 3 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I was sent a link to review this thread through my school email?? I'm guessing it was from the other critic who remained anonymous because I was there that day and there was a group of about 8 of us who volunteered and are in the same club at UF. She asked a few of us to write our experiences at Jungle Friends. Aside from that occurrence which she was not exaggerating, I had a pretty good time. I literally almost left after that guy came in because of how rude that was. It was like someone going out of their way to belittle someone else, but I guess that's sometimes just how people cope with life. I mean all we really did was cut food and wash dishes but that's okay because that's where we could help. Most of the food seemed pretty fresh aside from a few things the pony tail guy had us just cut real small even though I had an ineffective method of doing so. Also I was curious about the left over food that we washed out of the dishes too that alice addressed in a previous review. I didn't realize it was Krishna food. That's funny. I hope they can digest curry better than I can cause it runs right through me=) But even given the incident it was a lot of fun to be that close to monkeys!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

" As a non-profit organization, every penny that we have goes towards the well-being of the monkeys. That means that we rely on our volunteers to do things such as washing dishes, so that our staff can focus more on the monkeys. Every staff member and intern is dedicated to the care of the monkeys" if you rely on us so others can care for the monkeys, then treat us better so well come back!! But really everyone else for the most part was super nice except for that guy.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unsure

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A little

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 

Thank you for your comments, please contact me directly 386-462-7779, thanks, Kari

My name is Kari Bagnall, Founder and Executive Director of Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary, and I personally was not there when the incident occurred, however, I asked our staff about the incident and we have taken care of the problem, Claude, the volunteer who was involved in " produce chopping instructions" has commented on this site as "Claude", please feel free to comment directly to him rather than having your group continue to write bad reviews about our sanctuary while we are desperately trying to save as many monkeys as possible. I am so sorry you experienced someone at the sanctuary being rude and I would sure like to know what we can do to mend your hurt feelings...would you like to meet with Claude, meet with me, please tell me exactly what your group would like us to do so that we can continue our good work. Please call me at 386-462-7779. Or you can email the sanctuary so we can remedy this hostile atmosphere - as the Founder of the sanctuary, I will hope that you will contact me directly so that we can set up a meeting with you and the other group members involved.Thank you for your cooperation and your interest in helping us serve the monkeys at Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary. And if you have any questions about the food, you can contact us directly, or come in at 6:30 am to help prepare diets so you can see first hand the food they are served everyday...they eat better than most people and we are appreciative of the Krishna donating their left over food to the monkeys...so far we have not received any curry donations.

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Every day I can volunteer at Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary is an incredible one, so I continue to be there as much as possible! It has been especially rewarding watching the newest monkeys gaining confidence in their new home, and making new monkey friends. It's amazing to me how the staff knows individual monkeys likes and dislikes--as food or monkey neighbors or even sleeping preferences (place, blankets or not, cuddled with another monkey or not)!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find a way to take in more monkeys in need.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

After retiring from 45 + years in healthcare, I had the fortune to land in Gainesville and find Jungle Friends. The intent of volunteering a few hours once a week quickly changed to much more and now--almost three years later-- my volunteering is more like a rewarding second career. Sometimes duties are in the office and sometimes it is outside in the monkey yard. Every day something new is learned--about the monkeys, their behavior, care and approaches or even about approaches with a phone caller unwisely determined to acquire a pet monkey, or listening to an anguished " owner" who has recognized the "pet" is a wild animal who deserves a different life.

There is no question that the monkeys and their safety, physical and psychological well-being is the first priority and consideration for any action or decision. Staff and interns are expected to recognize the monkeys by name and to know their typical eating and behavior patterns. This is essential so changes which may indicate a problem in a monkey are recognized and handled early. Diets are individualized for those with special needs--the diabetic, toothless, and elderly. Staff know the different dietary favorites which are used for additional treats. The habitats provide an environment where the monkeys can be as close to the natural as possible. The habitats have been built around trees where possible with additional plants being added for enrichment. Ropes, shade cloth hammocks, recycled child swings, and ladders and mats from old fire hose provide more places for climbing, swinging, and sunning. New monkeys quickly learn to get fresh water on demand for drinking and splashing. Monkey rain (misters) provide cool showers on hot days. With a unique runway system, monkeys are safely moved to other habitats--to change their scenery, neighbors, and to provide a stimulating new place for foraging, playing or napping. There are several monkeys with special needs who have had their habitats adapted so they can continue to be with monkey neighbors, and still climb, swing, and travel about safely. Indoor and outdoor habitats are cleaned on a regular basis. Yes, monkeys are messy, so raking and cleaning is done daily, and "deep cleaning" top to bottom is done on a scheduled routine for inside and outside. If you volunteer and progress to being able to help with cleaning indoors, you will learn the "Sanctuary Shuffle"--the final step in floor cleaning! With the outdoors you will learn that scrubbing the bark of a tree is a required part of getting the monkeys' home ready for them again!
It doesn't take long at all to recognize that all donations--time, supplies, recycled play stuff, or money goes directly to help the monkeys. These monkeys have been taken from their natural life in the jungle, or have been bred to be used in the pet trade or in labs. It wasn't their fault or their choice. The ones who have found a way to Jungle Friends have at least found a place where they will be cared for in a safe place for the rest of their lives. I will continue to support Jungle Friends in all ways I can and encourage others to visit the web site (www.junglefriends.org) to meet some of these special non-human (and even some human!) primates!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Win the lottery to provide a steady flow of income and the ability to enlarge and bring in more monkeys needing a life long sanctuary home.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Having worked with primates for over 40 years, and at many primate sanctuaries in this country, I can honestly say that in my opinion, Jungle Friends is the best. I currently have been at the sanctuary every day since My 23rd. I care for the diabetic and special needs monkeys. The staff is dedicated beyond measure. Please come out and volunteer and make life better for all these wonderful primates!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have more dedicated volunteers and of course, more money for Jungle Friends.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I cannot believe I just read a comment that was so far off the truth, it is no funny. In fact, it is slanderous. I have been a part of Jungle Friends for over 10 years when I brought my own monkey there in 2003. May, 2013, Kari (not Keri) called me because my monkey was sick. I bought a one way ticket and have been there every day since. I have worked with many sanctuaries and Jungle Friends is the best I have ever encountered. The huge, natural habitats are well maintained, and the diets the primates receive are well balanced and fresh. Every primate has 2 bowls, one for biscuits and one for diet. Kari and the staff are very attentive to each and every animal and many lives have been saved because injuries and illness do not go unnoticed. Kari did not take a salary for many years and even now, puts most of her money back into the sanctuary. I have always felt comfortable asking friends and family to donate to this sanctuary because I know, first hand, that the money goes directly to caring for these incredible animals.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get more people to donate so that more monkeys could live out their lives in this beautiful sanctuary!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful


I hope most of you have followed the story of Murphy Brown's adventures from Los Angeles to the magical land of Jungle Friends. I wrote a piece for the last newsletter and then another for the website after her arrival in April.
Well it's now July and many things have happened in those three months. First of and most amazing of all....Murphy Brown has been off of insulin since June 27th and tests normal for the first time in almost five years. Why? Diet? Exercise? Perhaps....but to reverse the damage that was done in those five years of suffering at the hands of incompetent vets and a well meaning but incompetent human mother is only one thing , A MIRACLE. If love could cure diabetes, Murphy would have been cured. Upon her diagnosis, I took classes to learn about the disease, I searched the internet, I sent her blood tests to different vets. I got so many different opinions that nothing made sense. I have, in writing, Murphy's original vets' instructions, that would have killed her had I followed them. I did not give up... I prayed and I cried and I loved that little monkey more than ever. I met Kari and Nicole in January and knew that my prayers had been answered. I told Kari I would wait until April 10th and if I didn't have a plane that could take us I would drive. On April 6th, as I am calling rent-a-car places, my phone beeps and it's a friend telling me I have a plane, leaving April 10th. The rest is history.

I left my heart and my monkey on June 21st. Murphy is having so much fun and is feeling so good that she doesn’t even miss me. That's okay, I miss her enough for both of us. I have become Kari's assistant (assistant what, I have no idea) and I can't wait to get back to my second home. I plan on visiting as often as possible when I can't be there in person I am in touch everyday by telephone and e-mail. And I will continue to fundraise for Jungle Friends.

I urge everyone try a little fundraising, if not for Jungle Friends then for something else you really believe in. Not only am I helping a truly worthy cause but I also found that I have a lot of generous, loving people in my life and for that I will be forever grateful.

Please help Jungle Friends today with your tax deductible contribution through Paypal.

Thank you for your continued support.

Lots of Monkey Love,
Kari and the Monks

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2003

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I've been a caregiver at Jungle Friends for a little over a year, and from the day I started here I've been blown away by how much everybody cares about the monkeys. Everybody here is concerned about the monkeys' well-being over all else, and the dedication I've seen from my co-workers and our incredible volunteers has been nothing short of inspiring. I'd strongly suggest Jungle Friends for anybody looking for a unique and rewarding volunteer experience.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

While I've only been at Jungle Friends for a few months, I've been absolutely blown away by the compassion and dedication of every person there. This sanctuary is truly about providing these monkeys with the best care possible, and every single person there is more than willing to go above and beyond to make sure that happens. It's surreal to watch all these happy monkeys exploring their habitats, knowing just how much some of these poor animals have been through in life. Jungle Friends is an incredible place and I'm very proud to be a part of it.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I can say with absolute certainty that Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary is a wonderful place! The staff and volunteers are all loving, dedicated individuals who always put the needs of the monkeys before their own. The monkeys receive attentive care and fresh, vegetarian diets. Jungle Friends is a safe and caring place for both the monkeys who call it home, and the humans who wish it was. I encourage everyone to come and volunteer to see first hand the difference that Jungle Friends is making!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been working with non-profits for over 13 years and have the amazing opportunity to work at Jungle Friends as the Office Manager. This is one of the best-run non-profits with the most dedicated staff I have ever seen. Even though I work in the office I get plenty of 'monkey time' and get to see how happy, well-fed and healthy all of the monkeys are.

Kari is an amazing woman and an inspiration to everyone around her; she works tirelessly and is the most hands-on boss I have encountered. She is out with the monkeys from sun up to sun down (and sometimes later), ensuring that they have the best quality of life possible.

I love Jungle Friends and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in volunteering or getting involved with primates!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give it more funding so that more monkeys can have a wonderful life!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I just want everyone to know what a wonderful sanctuary this is!! If you have a free day please come by and witness first hand the dedication and love for these monkeys. If you are anything like me, you will leave with the feeling of accomplishment from helping out and have a whole new respect for staff/volunteers/interns for all of the hard work and care that they give the monkeys. Everyday is new adventure at Jungle Friends and seeing the monkeys thrive will surely put a smile on everyone's face. Being a helping part of it all is just an added bonus that everyone should experience for themselves.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have had the pleasure of witnessing what Jungle Friends has to offer for the monkeys firsthand. And let me just say - it is IMPRESSIVE!! I have a Marmoset Monkey that I rescued 8 years ago that now has a wonderful monkey life at Jungle Friends with other monkey like herself, I volunteer and help out in the Monkey Yard whenever I have a free moment, I sponsor monkeys, I work in the office keeping their finances in order and I recently joined their Board of Directors. I totally 100% believe in this non-profit organization that puts the monkeys needs first and foremost before anything else. Kari has dedicated her life to making sure every monkey that crosses her path has the best life possible. Anyone who doubts Jungle Friends beliefs or care for these monkeys need only come out and volunteer and they too will see firsthand what an amazing place this is. There are not many places where you can see a monkey living in a naturalist live habitat swinging and climbing in trees, chasing live bugs and just living life to the fullest. No concrete floors or concrete walls, instead they have grass, trees and bugs. Not to mention they are fed like kings and queens with all fresh fruits and veggies and species appropriate monkey biscuits. Jungle Friends is one of a kind sanctuary and the dedication and compassion for the animals here is what it is all about!!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

no changed needed!!! Except to have more people understand the great work that goes on here and get more involved!!!

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?