Jungle Friends has been helping these poor unfortunate creatures to have some sort of a normal life, and I have been volunteering since 2003. My involvement there has changed my life by making me more aware of what animals are going through, and what we are doing to them. I've become more involved helping animals by going to a plant based diet, not only for the animals, but the environment, and my health. Being in construction I've been able put my talents to good use helping with building habitats for monkeys and the human inhabitants. As well, I've been fortunate enough to be able to assist with some much needed financial help. Jungle Friends has become a large part of my life over the years, and I have met many people that contributed so much to helping these animals, it's truly inspirational.
This place is amazing! The staff has dedicated their lives to provide a close to wild habitat for all the primates in their care. I am lucky enough to have had a tour of the sanctuary. The monkeys seem so happy and each and everything one of them has a name. This is a true sanctuary, no forcing Primates to sit and take selfies with people. The work they are doing here is amazing
Jungle Friends is excellent ! We volunteered there as a family in early January 2019. Exceptional experience. Wonderful, competent staff and of course, the highlight - the monkeys ! Well loved and well cared for !!
The staff at jungle friends are devoted to their cause and show that devotion through their frequent posts, where they educate the public on monkeys, update the conditions of new arrivals and encourage people to fight to end cruelty and pet trade of these beautiful creatures. Every donation does so much for this cause and you see how much your donation helps as they expand to save more monkeys!
Jungle friends primates sanctuary is unbelieveable. . As a former monkey owner I was so fortunate that Jungle friends was there for my pets when I could no longer keep them. They are living the life as close to almost wild they could be. The care staff, habitats, grounds, medical attention, they have it all at Jungle friends. I have been involved with then over 15 years. Number one thing at Jungle friends is the monkeys.
Jungle friends took my 4 monkeys and provided a home for them when I could no longer keep them. It is a wonderful place and and I am so very thankful for Kari and her sanctuary. They could not be in a better place, they are happy and have 100's of friends to play with.
Oh, Susan you are most welcome, we love your monkeys and they love it here - Ernie is always looking for a good back scratch, Hayley is still our most photogenic monkey, and of course, Spanky is always ready to terrorize the new volunteers and Bonnie is just as sweet as ever!
I am the founder and President of Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary; so of course, I love the monkeys and appreciate all our dedicated staff, interns and volunteers who bring their compassion and dedication to the monkeys who call Jungle Friends home! The humans at Jungle Friends really know what the term ‘in-service’ means; they are the embodiment of service! You will never meet a more caring group of staff, interns and volunteers as you will meet at Jungle Friends.
I also live at the sanctuary so I am able to witness firsthand the difference we all make in the lives of the monkey residents. So, many monkeys have come to us with such sad stories. We watch them go from from rescue to recovery. The Jungle Friends team of staff, interns, volunteers, veterinarians and Board Members help to create and "Almost Wild" life for the monkeys.
Best sanctuary in the world.
I started volunteering at Jungle Friends in 2001 and fell in love with the monkeys. Jungle Friends has grown to be a large sanctuary and the exceptional standard of care has persisted.
Monkeys are wild animals and cannot be domesticated. Having a monkey as a pet is cruel, doesn’t end well, and is illegal in over half of the states in 2019 with more states to follow, without a doubt. Laws requiring animal testing need to change too because you cannot correlate what happens to a monkey to humans. Fortunately for some monkeys who were used in animal testing, when their study was over, they were transferred to Jungle Friends to live in an outdoor habitat where they can enjoy themselves.
Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary is a stellar non-profit organization. Everything that the founder has, from her trailer and deck to her clothes and food, has been donated by her fiancé and other close friends. The monkeys always come first.
The carestaff are extremely dedicated to the monkeys and I'm impressed everyday by their commitment to their wellbeing.
I wrote a review last year, and I'm still here and still so proud to be associated with this sanctuary and the staff who work here. The monkeys always come first at Jungle Friends and with over 300 new world primates that's a tall order to fill. If folks are in the Gainesville, Florida area you should "swing" by and check us out for yourselves. You'll be impressed, I promise.- Terry
Review from Guidestar
I've lived and worked at several other exotic animal and primate sanctuaries over my forty year span of working with and caring for non-human primates.
After living and working at Jungle Friends for over a year and a half now, I can say without a doubt, this is the most well run animal sanctuary I've seen.
It is an honor and pleasure to care for these monkeys and work with this passionate and dedicated staff.
Jungle Friends is doing great work providing retirement for former lab animals as well as former pets. The Natural out door habitats are amazing and seeing them interact with other monkeys is amazing. The carestaff and administrative staff are passionate and love to educate the public about the animals and thier challenges in the past. The founder works tirelessly for these animals. Keep up the great work.
Review from Guidestar
The sanctuary is amazing! The carestaff is very dedicated to the monkeys, and goes above and beyond each day. I have personally witnessed them caring for ill monkeys 24/7.
I am always amazed by the wonderful staff at Jungle Friends. Their #1 priority is the well-being, both physically and psychologically, of the monkeys on the sanctuary. As a volunteer, I truly know how hard the staff works. From sunrise to sunset, they are on site, working to take great care of the monkeys.
We went to Jungle Friends for what was to be a short visit and have stayed for a lifetime. We were touched by the heartbreaking stories of monkeys in captivity and the commitment of the Founder Kari Bagnall in creating a sanctuary for them to live out the remainder of their lives. Because we made the connection with animals, we changed our diet will never eat any animal products again. Over the last 15 years we have donated both time and money to Jungle Friends. Two years ago we agreed to serve on the Board of Directors. It is truly a worthwhile cause and is always in need of financial support. If you can make a big or small donation of either time or money it would be greatly appreciated by the monkeys and those who have given their lives to care for them. Junglefiends.org
I have visited and consulted with many animal sanctuaries domestically and abroad. Jungle Friends is among the finest I have been associated with anywhere. The team is not only compassionate and professional, they make tremendous effort in creating and developing nurturing and enriching neotropical habitats, exceptional organic nutritional program, and medical/wellness care that is among the finest I have ever seen. Jungle Friends is a great resource for the community and beyond and provide a life-long, safe, healthy life for primates retired from medical research, entertainment, and the pet trade. They perform a vital and admirable role for anyone committed to the interests of animal life.
This is a wonderful organization with dedicated care staff. The #1 priority of the staff is the monkeys who reside at Jungle Friends. I have witnessed members of the staff work from sunrise to sunset to ensure that the monkeys receive the best care possible.
At 63 years young, I decided to take a winter off from the blizzards and ice of NH and interned at Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary, in Lacrosse, Florida.. I worked with over 300 New World Species of primates on a 45 acre sanctuary with a tireless dedicated staff. In every weather condition the monkey people received compassionate care and tender loving interaction all through their day, as well as a labor intensive varied diet of fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds and more.
The routine was challenging and director lazar focused on ensuring the animals well being was first and foremost in every way. In all my years I can't think of any experience that was more meaningful and bitter sweet, as helping care for the animals at Jungle Friends, and the intense bonds that developed between staff, monkeys and interns... Truly enriching yet tragic since the plight of the animals at human hand was so very difficult to learn..
Still, Jungle Friends provides them with 24/7 love, compassion and as natural an environment as possible. With everyone's help, we can continue ensuring these animals have enriched lives, optimal nutrition, necessary veterinary care, and everything they need to live out their lives in peace, as they so deserve...
This is among the finest primate sanctuaries in the world, with a comprehensive holistic wellness and medical care approach. Highly recommend.
I have worked here for 2 years. Only good things to say!
Jungle Friends is the place to be if you're a monkey. This amazing sanctuary provides all the love and care for monkeys retired from research, confiscated by authorities, or surrendered as pets. The carestaff is outstanding and gives so much love and attention. I highly recommend this sanctuary.
Before being hired I was warned that the director was "crazy". Every single employee is quick to express their dislike for the director. If you're a donor, obviously you're painted a different picture, however the truth is undeniable. The employees are overworked and under paid. Any amount of time worked over 40 hours becomes FREE LABOR because they will not pay you your regular 8.10 per hour let alone over time. You're FORCED to "volunteer" any hours you work past 40 per week. They offer no benefits for their full time employees, and are lucky to get a "thank you" for any extra duties you perform. The employee turn over rate is insane due to the fact that she treats everyone like mules until theyve had enough. The verbal abuse, and passive aggressive insults are sometimes almost too much to bear. I've literally seen interns quit, leaving with their bags in tears. The lack of unprofessionalism and disorganization is mind boggling. They offer ZERO training and wonder why no-one has a clue as to what's going on. It was comical to watch during Irma. Several monkeys got loose, and I witnessed 6 people standing around 1 squeeze cage. Not one person looked confident in whatever they were trying to do. As a former employee, there were no benefits in working for jungle friends other than the friendships I developed, because there are some amazing people that still work there. Its just a shame that the workers are completely taken for granted. One employee was told that "she and the rest of us were all disposable." Within the last few weeks, nearly half of the employees quit, and a few more just this last week. At this rate all of the main care givers will be gone and the monkeys will be the ones to suffer.
Review from Guidestar
My daughter worked at Jungle Friends and had a very positive experience there. They should be warmly supported!!!
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.
Such authentic work with these essentially abandoned sentient creatures. I've had enjoyed my visits. It's a wonderful place that deserves so much recognition and support!
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 have been a proud sponsor of several Jungle Friends monkeys for many years. I am welcome to visit the sanctuary to see where my donations go and I also get to help prepare breakfast and clean lots of monkey poop! The director is one of the most amazing women I have ever met and she attracts amazing people to the sanctuary. I have never seen so many dedicated, and compassionate people in one place! If you are looking for a good charity who will use your money wisely and prudently, this is the place! If you are looking for an incredible place to volunteer, Jungle Friends is your best bet!
My sister brought her monkey here 13 years ago very ill with diabetes..she stayed for a few months to make sure her baby was comfortable and happy there...she has always received the upmost care and has been thriving for years...I had the pleasure of visiting myself a few years ago and couldn't believe all that goes on in a days work!! The love and care the workers give each and every animal is amazing to me..my sister has since moved there since she loved the sanctuary so much and works there everyday..i can not wait to go back and visit...I only wish I lived close by I would be more than proud to volunteer there myself..but I can only donate once in a while to show my respect for them and their hard work...Christmas is coming and I will be sending bags of nuts..they are truly doing Gods work and anyone who has a problem with that should search their soul before mouthing off negativity....the people that I know who work there give from their SOUL everyday to give these animals the dignity and love they deserve and were deprived of for many years.....God bless the workers there!!!
For quite awhile now I have been a donor for Jungle Friends, and finally had a chance to volunteer last week. I knew whatever jobs I would be asked to do would be something to help the monkeys. what a great experience! I was amazed at what the monkeys eat, some fresh fruits and veges and monkey soup (more fruit and veg) and then biscuits. Some have diabetes ad they get special diets and also get their food 3 times a day. Monkeys are messy!! There is a lot of cleaning needed--every day. The staff are amazing, not just friendly and wiling to answer questions, but their care for the monkeys is so obvious! I'm looking forward to a chance to get back again soon.
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 placed my monkey at Jungle Friends in 2003, stayed with her for 10 weeks and have visited her often over the years. I moved to Gainesville in 2013 and have been at the sanctuary every day since. Please come out and witness firsthand what incredible care these lucky primates receive every day of the lives. It takes a whole lot of caring people to run such a great sanctuary, please come out and make a difference.
I have been working with sanctuaries for many years all over the country and Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary is by far one of the best, if not THE best primate sanctuary! If you don't believe me, just visit the sanctuary and see for yourself. I couldn't disagree more with the previous comment. I love Jungle Friends! Amanda ME
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!
I placed my pet monkey in the care of Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary many years ago. I donated toward a new habitat for my monkey and even helped their staff and volunteers build the habitat for my precious little girl. I also contribute monthly for her care, because I know that the sanctuary survives only on private donations. I visit the sanctuary frequently and volunteer my time to help the sanctuary and see my monkey thrive with her new monkey friends in the compassionate care of the Jungle Friends Family! Jungle Friends saved my monkey's life (she is diabetic) and my sanity! I thank God every day for Kari, the founder, and her dedicated staff, interns and loyal volunteers.
I want to start out by saying Ive given a lot of time and as much money as I can afford to many different non profits throughout the country and am pleased to say that Jungle Friends is deserving of both. I have been volunteering and donating to this organization for some time now and love every second I'm able to spend there. I am extremely Impressed with the dedication of the entire staff and that of the volunteers that give so much of their time for these amazing beings. It saddens me that we even need places like this but am happy that Jungle Friends provides such exceptional care for the monkeys that call Jungle Friends home. I am very proud to know all at Jungle Friends and I would suggest to anyone looking to donate to an amazing non profit to look into Jungle Friends. Every cent is spent on the animals. I feel proud supporting an organization like Jungle Friends and will continue to do so for a long time to come :)
I have been volunteering every weekend at the sanctuary for over 9 years now. I commute 45 miles each way every weekend. I have helped a lot of volunteers, staff, and most importantly the monkeys who have helped fill a previously empty place in my life. I run a business and have included my employees, all of whom have worked for me for over four years, in my Jungle Friends activities.
The work is constant, yet rewarding, with the experience of volunteering on a continuing basis allowing me to experience Jungle Friends for more than just a snapshot of time. I invite all to volunteer and get to know the monkeys and staff for more than just a few hours. The reward truly is knowing and seeing what I am able to provide helps others, understanding that in giving of my time and abilities I place something or someone else above my own personal day to day wants.
I do what I can, not perfectly, but to the best of my abilities. I believe you learn something new every day if you allow yourself to.
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!
My priority for available time is to be at Jungle Friends as much as possible! It is hard to describe how rewarding it is, just knowing you're helping make life a bit better for these monkeys. The luckiest monkeys are the ones who are in the wild where they belong. For the unfortunate ones not in their natural home, Jungle Friends is absolutely the best alternative. It is not just the food, shelter, and monkey companionship that makes a difference, it is also the care, compassion and respect each of them is given by their human caregivers.
Been volunteering at Jungle Friends for a while now, not only are all in their care taken care of exceptionally well the staff are truly dedicated in what they are doing. Thank You Jungle Friends
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 :)
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!
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.
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. "
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)!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!!
I have been volunteering for Jungle Friends for over 11 years and I love this place. The monkeys are amazing and the people are wonderful. The dedication and selflessness of the people involved are inspirational.
About three quarters of the monkeys were purchased for pets but then brought to Jungle Friends when the people realize that monkeys are wild animals, dangerous, and don't make good pets. The rest were former lab monkeys. It is so neat to see these animals discover what fun they can have in the big habitats. The longer you volunteer, the more monkeys recognize you when you come and yell a greeting. When inspectors come from the government agencies who oversee animal care, they are always impressed with the care the Jungle Friends monkeys receive and their spacious habitats.
I am the sanctuary manager at Jungle Friends primate sanctuary. I would like to start off by saying I've worked for many sanctuaries and Jungle Friends is one of the best monkey sanctuaries out there. All in our care receive fresh produce and vegetarian meals that are donated each morning. We always pay close attention to all diets and food that is given to every animal in our care. We continue to improve every habitat on a daily basis. All in our care receive the very best we can give and have plenty of dedicated staff and volunteers to go around :)
I've only been volunteering here for about a month, but I can say with certainty that the monkeys here are provided with some of the best care I've seen at sanctuaries or zoos. I've been working with primates for over a year now, and this sanctuary has given me an excellent opportunity to take care of monkeys that have come from less than perfect backgrounds. Jungle Friends gives a loving and caring home to monkeys that have come from research or were former pets. They are all given an opportunity to live in spacious and enriching habitats and to socialize with other monkeys. Most days that I volunteer, I help prepare their food and I'm pretty sure they eat better than I do!
I volunteered at Jungle Friends not tuo long ago and was very excited for the experience. Im a grad student in ecology with a focus on animal conservation at the University of Florida. I was looking forward to getting some more real world experience because mine is limited, especially with a non profit. Im afraid to say that I was less than impressed. The habitats for the sanctuary were big and looked nice as if they were just redone, and the caregivers were attentive and kind. Where it went wrong was how the people there were treated. I worked chopping vegetables for the monkeys diets with a really young intern that seemed very knowledgeable and was a great worker. Then out of nowhere the directors boyfriend came in and yelled at her and most of the volunteers saying we were doing things wrong. The changes he made to what we were doing were so minimal especially given how enraged he was. I honestly for a minute thought he was going to hit someone. I thought that was the most unprofessional and inappropriate thing I've ever seen someone do to people who were there volunteering there time for free. When we were waiting to get our tour five minutes before our four hour requirement the directors boyfriend came over again and yelled at us and the intern for standing around. He said that if we wanted to be here we work non stop up until the tour. The intern got the worst of it for not telling us what to do which is sad because she was busy doing laundry for the monkeys. As a volunteer I can say I will never go back there and I speak for the entire group that attended that day. Also, if anyone is looking into volunteering there I would be prepared to take some abuse.
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 call me at 386-462-7779. Or you can email email@example.com - 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. We appreciate our volunteers and want them to have a good volunteer experience.
As a donor and volunteer at Jungle Friends for many years, I have always found the sanctuary to be a first rate and professional organization. Kari's passion and expertise in caring for the monkeys is second to none. I have the utmost respect and confidence in Kari and Jungle Friends and will continue to support this fine organization in any way I can.
Thank you, Kari, for your selfless dedication and hard work...... Donna H.
I have been a financial supporter and volunteer of Jungle Friends for several years. Founder and Director Kari Bagnall is a very special human being who has dedicated her life to the service of the monkeys. She serves as a great example for all of us to follow. I live three hours away from JF and try to volunteer monthly for a few days to help however I can. I love working for the monks and consider myself very fortunate for this special opportunity. I really respect Kari and the JF staff for their dedication; the work there is constant and never-ending; 24/7, 365 days a year. For example, chopping fresh veggies/fruit is no big deal....until you realize how much and how often you have to chop! I have gained so much more than I have given. The monkeys are wonderful creatures and great teachers. At JF they can live out their lives peacefully with loving care. Donna H.
Every time I am in Gainesville, FL I pay a visit and am welcomed by all.
I have been visiting Jungle Friends for ten years & find the facility always clean, the monkeys always happy and the people friendly, caring and hard working.
The education one gets from a visit is astounding, it is a shame that people still want monkeys as pets.
There is no better place for ex pets, lab experiments or circus primates than Jungle Friends! When the monkeys get there, they finally hear a language they understand, they finally make monkey friends, they finally feel dirt on their feet, they finally fly through trees in giant enclosures, they are finally in a troop as life should have had them be in nature.
I have been a volunteer for JF, on and off, for 10 years & find the service provided to our animal friends to be outstanding. The care taken of them does not compare to any other place.
It is a SANCTUARY.
I have been involved with Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary since 1999. In my opinion, there would be no better place to have a monkey live out it's captive years.
As a former staff member, I cannot disagree with your statement more. Kari has taught me everything about new world primates and given me the opportunity to learn things that I would have never had the chance to do elsewhere. There were times when I had to work 7 days a week, but only when we had special needs monkeys that needed our care throughout the day and night. I never begrudged it, as this is simply what happens when you work at a sanctuary. We have breaks, I was the person who used to schedule them and we also had 2 days off a week.
Due to the physical nature of the work and the temperature/humidity, it is true that sometimes staff and interns decide that they aren't cut out for the work and they decide to leave. They are never run off as the sanctuary runs on volunteers and those who are passionate about primates.
Now for the part that was the reason I replied to this...the monkeys are fed nutritious fresh produce delivered to the sanctuary weekly and kept in our walk in refrigerator and freezer units. At no point do the monkeys get week’s old leftovers that smell like death. Every so often, we get produce donated, but we always always check it before it is put into their diet bowls. Many people that visit jungle friends often remark at how well fed the monkeys are, and how much of a varied diet they receive.
The habitats are cleaned on a monthly basis, with some of our special habitats, such as those with more primates in them, are cleaned on a bi weekly schedule. Some are even cleaned every week. I know this because I used to schedule the cleaning rota, and complete the book that is our diary of when habitats are cleaned. At no point are the habitats just left to get dirty!
As for monkeys being better back in the lab! Are you kidding? You describe yourself as being an expert in the field? You obviously haven’t seen the horrors of the laboratory setting or what happens to the monkeys once they arrive at the sanctuary. Maybe you should visit Jungle Friends youtube page to see how many have been socialised after 25 years of solitude? Or take a look at some of the stories and how they are now off of all their meds that they arrived on due to their negative behaviours such self attacking. Kari addresses these issues and solves them, giving the monkeys a life as close to the wild as they can. Maybe you should spend some more time at the sanctuary and open your eyes to what is really going on around you, rather than being too self involved!
I have visited Jungle Friends primate sanctuary. I was very impressed. The primates have big habitats, trees ,interactions with interns. Everything at JF is totally for the monkeys. Their care is awesome.
Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary is an amazing non profit organization. They all have live habitats with trees and lots of bugs for the monkeys to find and eat. Monkey's were born to be wild and Jungle Friends gives all monkeys the most natural habitat. Jungle Friends staff does everything to better these monkeys lives. Each monkeys live with a companion and are required to do nothing but play all day!
This Terrible organization Keri doesn't know anything about monkeys. Jungle friends is a toxic organization Keri does not put your donation to good use she spends them on build a deck for her trailer and buying things like a a personal atv for herself and a Hot tub. She treats her staff like crap forcing them to work 7 days a week from 6:30am to 8pm with out a beak. She runs off interns and has even called the cops on interns for want to leave after being treated poorly. The monkey are feed weeks old leftovers that smell like death and there habitats are not cleaned for months. Sadly the monkey are better off back in the labs there far better places put your time and money in to.
Jungle Friends just found this libelous comment and we are contacting our attorneys to find out who wrote these lies and sue them for libel.
My name is Kari Bagnall, Founder and Executive Director of Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary and unfortunately, we have been unable to find out who this person is who wrote the ridiculous statements about the sanctuary, nor can we get the comment removed, so I will address the negative comments individually. First of all I have been taking care of monkeys for over 20 years and am considered an "expert" in the field. I did not spend donations on building a deck on the single-wide trailer that I live in, the deck was built by Claude, one of our donors, volunteers and my fiancé. Claude built and paid for the deck because it is a perfect place to observe monkey socializations. The ATV is not mine, it belongs to a neighbor who used to ride it over here when he volunteered, however, we have since asked him not to drive it on the property, as it was too loud. Our staff does not work 7 days a week, nor do they work from 6:30 - 8 pm, have they ever? YES, anyone working with animals knows that if there is a problem, you take care of the animals first, we have had hurricanes, staff shortages, monkeys in need of 24-hour care, well, on and on, but if you ask our staff if they feel that they are not being treated appropriately, you will find that our staff are very happy, love their work and are not abused. You can call the sanctuary 386-462-7779 and ask to talk to one of the carestaff and ask them yourselves, or come on out and volunteer and ask them in person. We are very fortunate to have wonderful caregivers who are dedicated to the monkeys and the Jungle Friends philosophy. Calling the cops on interns, hmmm, that is a very strange statement, it didn't happen, so I cannot address that statement. If you question what the monkeys eat, please come to the sanctuary to volunteer at 6:30 am when we are preparing their breakfast and see for yourself what they eat. We purchase fresh produce every week that is served every day. We get food from the Krishna donated 3 times a week, it is very tasty vegetarian food. I can assure you that it is all fresh, healthy food. Every day, we serve fresh produce, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, nuts, fruit, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, lentils, beans and rice, and hot veggies in the wintertime. These bowls are collected about 4 hours after they have been served breakfast, the monkeys are also served monkey chow, seeds, nuts and other goodies throughout the day. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the sanctuary or email us Info@junglefriends.org.
I have been volunteering with Jungle Friends for a little under a year, and recently became a board member because I believe in the Jungle Friends mission, I believe in Kari Bagnall, and I adore the monkeys. These monkeys need us because too many humans believe animals exist to serve human needs, but Jungle Friends serves the monkeys -- wholeheartedly and selflessly. Kari has dedicated every moment of her life to trying to mitigate at least some of the damage that humans have done to these precious creatures. Every action taken and every decision made there is clearly made with the guiding principle of "will it benefit the monkeys?" I can donate my time, energy and money to Jungle Friends without ever questioning whether it is appreciated or is used wisely. How many nonprofits do you support where you can really, truly believe that?
Thank you Helene, we sure do appreciate all you do for Jungle Friends!
Jungle Friends is dedicated to providing sanctuary to rescued monkeys who are provided with a safe, loving, and enriching environment. I have had the opportunity to visit Jungle Friends, and it was so heartwarming to see the monkeys thriving and protected. With greater resources, Jungle Friends is able to provide sanctuary to more monkeys in need.