Having just spent three days at Jungle Friends, I think you should know that it is one of the most extraordinary sanctuaries I have ever visited. The dedicated staff, mostly volunteers, takes care of more than 100 monkeys with enthusiasm and careful attention to detail. Director Kari Bagnal has tremendous spirit and knowledge--she's great with animals and people! Jungle Friends is a model primate sanctuary; I've never seen so many contented, calm monkeys and so many staffers loving their work. The place is pristine; the monkey habitats are spacious and inventive. I encourage everyone to support this place, which I hope expands to help more monkeys in need. There are so many! Elizabeth Hess, author Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human
I started volunteering at Jungle Friends in November 2014. From the moment I walked through the gates, I knew that Jungle Friends was a very special place. I was impressed by the quality of care and the all encompassing attitude of "monkeys come first" that Kari and her team displayed. When I left that first day, I recognized two things: 1.) that Jungle Friends, outside of their natural habitat, was the BEST place any monkey could every wish to live out their life; and 2.) that I was going to do everything in my power to help this organization carry out their mission of saving lives and promoting compassion. I encourage everyone to visit www.JungleFriends.org to learn all about this amazing organization and to support them in any way you can. Together we can make a difference in the lives of New World primates!!
An amazing non profit with such touching stories. The work you do as a volunteer - you feel the impact.
Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary is a labor of love! Everyone I have come in contact with, on the occasions I have been to visit, draw, and paint the monkeys, genuinely cares for these primates! I have come on the spur of the moment at times and I have come after having given plenty of advance notice. Everything was exactly the same in either case: wonderful! Monkeys used in laboratories from various locations spend their golden years in a habitat hundreds of times larger than the tiny cages they spent their entire lives up to their introduction into the primate sanctuaries. Former pets and former performance monkeys also are part of the monkey community there. All are treated for any ailments, fed well, and given attention as needed. It is truly a joy to see the happy primates living nearly as they would had they not been removed from nature. Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary has inspired me so much that I now volunteer by painting their primates to help raise funds. If I could do more to help I would!
Kari and her staff run the best primate sanctuary in the world! The monkeys eat the healthiest food, have the most spacious and beautifully enriched habitats. My volunteer time here has been some of the most joyful periods in my life. The food is 100% vegetarian and mostly vegan in support of all living beings! Kari manifests miracles for primates here!
I volunteer when I am in Gainesville visiting some regular volunteers. I love helping at Jungle Friends. The monkeys know the longtime volunteers and it is so funny to hear them scream greetings when my friends arrive. The staff and interns are very busy with a zillion things and volunteers are needed to help them. Time flies when you volunteer here because there is so much to do.
I volunteered with a group from UF last month and we all have a wonderful experience and plan to come back again. What we were most impressed with were how knowledgeable the staff and interns were. The Director even met with us explaining some of the future projects that were in the works at the sanctuary.Everyone was very patient with us, answering all of our questions thoroughly, we all left with a new appreciation for monkeys and all the hard work that goes into caring for them. If you are looking for a rewarding experience, you will find it at Jungle Friends!
My group volunteered for Jungle Friends about three weeks ago and really enjoyed it! The staff was kind and engaging and seemed to have a real passion for the monkeys! The monkeys are very well taken care of; each shares a spacious enclosure with a couple other monkeys and is given toys, hammocks, and a variety of shelters and branches to swing from. The staff explained that the monkeys are paired based on positive relationships formed with other monkeys, so each has a friend. The happiness and comfortability, in addition to the monkeys' health and well-being, are important to the staff here. They seem dedicated in making this a "sanctuary" for the monkeys, and I feel as though they have greatly succeeded!
Thank you so much, we run on Volunteer Power here at Jungle Friends, so we are so glad you had a great experience! And wow, you sure learned a lot during your visit, I must compliment our staff on how well they convey the message about the monkeys to you and your group
Our group had a great experience at Jungle Friends. We went as part of a service club trip which I led. I had tried contacting a number of animal rescue/sanctuaries around Gainesville, but Jungle Friends was definitely the most responsive. After the trip, everyone wanted to come back again, so we will be coming back in the next few months. Overall, definitely a very rewarding and interesting experience.
Thank you Nick, your group was super and we look forward to having you back out next semester!
I have been volunteering at Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary for some time now, and I also donate as much as I can to help the monkeys. This is a wonderful organization run by some of the most dedicated and compassionate individuals I have ever met! The monkeys are well taken care of and the staff are always friendly. Whenever I volunteer I feel appreciated, have a lot of fun, and learn something new every time. The staff are very knowledgeable about primates and are always there to explain primate behavior and answer any questions I may have. There is no feeling in the world that compares to the way you feel after you have been at Jungle Friends!
Jungle Friends is a rewarding place to volunteer. The monkeys needs come first at this place. They have the best life possible for captive monkeys. One of the staff told me that one of the monkeys got ahold of someone's keys and the monkey ran over to a lock. That is so heartbreaking that the monkeys know they are under lock and key and want out. But, such is the fate of a captive monkey. The habitats at Jungle Friends are large and there is lots of things to do, and play with. While you work here you get to see monkeys playing with each other. What an amazing place!