Patti Ragan, founder and director of the Center for Great Apes, made a different choice twenty years ago, when she used her own money to start a sanctuary for discarded chimps and orangutans.
Because of Patti, and the caregivers, board members and volunteers who support the Center, the animals feel secure. For many of them, this is the first time they can trust their caregivers. Many bear physical and psychological scars of their past, but now their scars have a chance to fade. They aren’t on display to the public, they aren’t asked to do anything except what is necessary for their health and well-being. They can be who they were meant to be, as much as is possible for apes born into captivity.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I started writing my Chimp Trainer’s Daughter blog in March 2011, and I faced a choice. The process of writing was cathartic at first, but I was comparing my father’s abuse of us kids and zoo chimpanzees and it was gut wrenching. I spent a day at the Center, listening to the sounds of healthy chimps. Seeing what this sanctuary means to the animals gave me the determination to fight for chimpanzees who still need help.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
I would encourage them to use their website for more aggressive fundraising, i.e., putting their silent auction and sale items online.
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They needed to build a new facility to house chimpanzees that needed to come to the sanctuary.
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