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
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
This is among the finest primate sanctuaries in the world, with a comprehensive holistic wellness and medical care approach. Highly recommend.
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.