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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Pacific Primate Sanctuary, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Protection of Endangered Species, Wildlife Sanctuaries

Mission: Pacific Primate Sanctuary is located on the Island of Maui, Hawaii and is staffed by volunteers. The Sanctuary was founded in 1984 to provide safe haven and rehabilitation for threatened, endangered and distressed Central and South American monkeys given refuge from research laboratories, and rescued from tourist attractions and the pet trade. The Sanctuary has created naturalistic habitats where displaced primates can reclaim some of their birthright, living outdoors in rainforest enclosures in social groups. The Sanctuary maintains a successful federally authorized rehabilitation program for threatened and endangered New World Primates, including tamarins, marmosets, capuchin, and spider monkeys. PPS also offers resident immersion internships and innovative environmental education programs to students, volunteers and the community to help end the mass extermination of the Earth's plants and animals and promote respect for all living things.

Programs: Providing a wildlife refuge for the protection and preservation of over 50 simian species in need.

Community Stories

74 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I began caring for the monkeys at Pacific Primate Sanctuary as a teen and today, over 25 years later, I serve as a board member. At the Sanctuary, the needs of the non-human primates come first. It’s not just a philosophy or mission statement; this organization and its small group of committed staff walks its talk with the utmost integrity, providing the highest caliber of care to the monkeys and exceptional education opportunities through its internship program. Here, every decision is informed by what’s best for the monkeys, which stands in stark contrast to the animals’ former lives on exhibit as tourist attractions or as test subjects in laboratories. I’m proud to be a part of the Sanctuary, helping to further awareness of the intrinsic value and rights of our extended primate family.

2 jwormser

Board Member

Rating: 5

I continue to be astonished that this organization can operate purely out of love and compassion for our fellow beings and without a single member taking a salary. It is something that this world needs more of and Pacific Primate Sanctuary more than deserves a five star review and support from the public.

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3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am an attorney and board member and can personally attest to the fact that Pacific Primate Sanctuary, Inc. is the most genuinely altruistic organization that I've ever encountered. Nobody at the organization takes a salary and everyone is motivated purely out of a desire to care for the endangered and distressed primates that call the sanctuary home.

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2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have followed Pacific Primate Sanctuary since its inception. The skill, devotion and compassion of their staff, volunteers and founding director are in my view peerless. On the heels of the United Nations report of the mass extinction of one million species in our lifetime, their mission is more relevant and more urgent than ever. They protect species from extinction and promote the biodiversity that makes our planet and all its inhabitants thrive.It is without qualification that I support the work of Pacific Primate Sanctuary and urge others to become familiar with their earth-saving work.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a full-time volunteer at Pacific Primate Sanctuary for just over a year and a half and I am so grateful to be a part of this amazing project. This place is truly a Sanctuary. Providing individualized care for animals whose natural habitat is being destroyed daily has been rewarding beyond belief. Run by a fully volunteer staff, the Sanctuary works to create a calm and peaceful place for these endangered monkeys to live out their lives and I have learned an incredible amount in my time here, both from my coworkers and the monkeys alike. Just looking into the eyes of a tamarin you can see their soul and after a while, once you've fed and cared for them enough, you can feel the mutual trust between you. It is in these moments that I am reminded of why we dedicate our lives to this work, to give refuge to these beautiful souls and help them feel safe, some for the first time in their lives. I love PPS and will forever hold the monkeys in my heart.

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been interning with Pacific Primate Sanctuary for just over a month now and I couldn't be happier. I chose this internship because it was a great learning opportunity. The sanctuary holds the knowledge of 30 years of experience from past and present volunteers and interns and I am happy to add to this collaboration. The focus of PPS is truly the monkeys and their wellbeing. We learn how to listen to their needs and read their signs in order to provide the best possible care for them. Each individual is treated and loved equally here and I am happy to be a part of the team.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Pacific Primate Sanctuary for many years. This is a unique organization in that, being run by volunteers who care for creatures that are quickly running out of habitat in the wild, the individuals who have found there way to the sanctuary are able to be cared for with respect and love by the staff who do all they can, what they can, for these beings. In doing so they take a stand against the tide of destruction.
Thank you for allowing us to be a part of this effort.
I encourage all to volunteer who can, and if you can not, please donate what you can and be a part of the Pacific Primate Sanctuary family.

Steven Wormser

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2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Pacific Primate Sanctuary is a unique organization being completely run by individuals who give their time and energy for the benefit of the animals in their care. It has been a privilege to be associated with this group of dedicated persons. The focus on continual learning, development of improved protocols and training has made the experience of working with the animals at Pacific Primate Sanctuary, a formative and important part of the growth of the volunteer and intern family. They are there to serve the Monkeys and do so with focused attention every day. Pacific Primate Sanctuary is truly a rare example of selfless giving in a world that is overwhelmed and controlled by self-interest. I encourage everyone who understands this peril to give to this organization in any way you can.
The destruction of our environment continues and the role of humans is undeniable. Here at Pacific Primate Sanctuary is an island of hope and positive action toward a better world. Thank you to Lucy and Erin who are the guiding force in this effort. You do it with compassion and determination, always for the monkeys.
Steven Wormser

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PPS is a truly a one-of-a-kind organization. At the Sanctuary, monkeys that have been rescued (i.e. from laboratories, the exotic pet trade) are able to live out full, enriching lives in a habitat much like the one they would inhabit in the wild. As a current resident intern at PPS, I can testify to the high standard of specialized care each monkey receives. The health needs, dietary preferences, and overall comfort of each individual is of the utmost priority to the staff, who provide round-the-clock care. I feel incredibly privileged to be able to work with these beautiful animals every day.

1 Kaylee M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a resident Intern at PPS for the past year, and I have never encountered an animal care facility that puts forth the level of detailed care that this Sanctuary does. It is incredible to learn as much as we do about each species of primate, and to be responsible for so much of their care. I have become adept at recognizing the various vocalizations and behaviors of each monkey, preparing and distributing the specialized diets, and providing medical care when necessary. At this place of peace you truly learn what it takes to run a Sanctuary with the big picture in mind. It is a phenomenal feeling to help provide such a high quality of life to so many beings, especially when many of them have come from research facilities, the illegal pet trade, or tourist attractions. When you walk through the Corridor and see so many of the monkeys slob-flopping, a relaxed behavior that is rarely seen in captivity, you know that you’re helping out a spectacular mission.

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I chose to become an intern at Pacific Primate Sanctuary because of the mission they exemplify, and that I haven't seen anywhere else. PPS truly creates a place of peace for so many monkeys that never had that chance before. Our sole goal while providing care for these creatures is to give them a life as close to that as they can get in the wild. We treat these monkeys and all of nature around us as equals, and it's so clear how happy they all are. You can always find the monkeys laying out enjoying the sun on a warm day, and it's so validating when you remember that some of them came from research labs where they never got to climb on trees, and experience the sun's rays on their back while taking a nap. I hope this sanctuary continues doing their amazing work for many more years to come, so that monkeys can continue to be saved and provided such phenomenal care for.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son and I are proud to be volunteering at this special place. The staff is brilliant and kind. Every creature is treated with respect and nurtured. They are highly organized and provide a unique home for the monkeys.

2 teresao

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Pacific Primate Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of primates that have been used in animal research, pets that have been surrendered, and others that have been misused or mistreated. The staff consists of amazing volunteers who dedicate their lives for a year or longer to create a habitat and life for the primates that is as close to a natural environment as is possible. Some of the rescued primates have gone from tiny wire cages where they never saw or felt sunshine to amazing enclosures filled with natural greenery, open air, sunshine, and shelter from the cool and damp elements. These abused primates have been given the chance to be part of a family group and to live a normal primate life. Kudos to the amazing staff of PPS for giving of their lives and hearts to the primates they have rescued!

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2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

PPS is an amazing organization dedicated to saving rescued primates both physically and emotionally. They provide a nurturing and healing environment to all of the primates in their care. PPS also provides an opportunity for their interns to gain invaluable knowledge and hands on experience in caring for primates. Not only does PPS provide sanctuary for these primates, but it also provides an unique opportunity for learning primate care!

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1 Erin84

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Pacific Primate Sanctuary is a phenomenal organization, one which is wholly dedicated to the wellbeing of the animals who have found refuge there. The Sanctuary believes that all beings are deserving of respect, compassion and understanding. Each monkey receives custom care, tailored to his or her individual physical, mental and emotional needs. It has been an honor to serve the Sanctuary for over 10 years, doing so fills my heart with joy, pride and contentment. I have seen individuals from research laboratories step outside for the first time in their life, I have watched individuals who were taken from their mothers too early learn new vocalizations now that they are finally around others of their own kind, and I have had the privilege to see the transformation as individuals who spent years in tourist attractions finally find peace. PPS has found a permanent place in my heart, and in my life, and I look forward to many more years of serving the animals and their home.

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3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Pacific Primate Sanctuary for over 10 years, and am honored to be a part of this compassionate organization. The animals are treated with respect and empathy, and given the best care possible- each monkey receiving customized care based on their individual needs. Each day at PPS, we see monkeys exhibiting species-typical behaviors and vocalizations, interacting with the world around them and other primates in the way that nature intended. These monkeys will never be exploited or abused again, they are finally able to live free in the green world.

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1 Olivia J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience as a resident intern:
After graduating from University, I wasn’t quite sure what the next steps would be. I knew I wanted to go to Veterinary school someday, but at the time I felt called to gain more hands-on experience working with animals. For months, while working to save up money, I researched internships all around the world, but when I came across Pacific Primate Sanctuary the searching came to a halt. This internship offered an experience unlike any other I’d seen. The depth of training, including primate behaviors and communication, emergency medical care, colony management and so much more seemed like exactly what I had been looking for. Not to mention, living in a yurt in the rainforest surrounded by monkeys sounded pretty cool. When I was accepted to the program, I was simultaneously overjoyed and anxious about the journey that lied ahead.

After arriving at PPS, I quickly realized just how special the Sanctuary truly was. In all my work with animals, I had never seen a place so dedicated to understanding the specific behaviors, needs, and tendencies of each individual that resides here. Rather than just meeting their basic needs, the Sanctuary gives each individual the specialized care they need to heal and grow, both physically and emotionally. The program here is unique in that the Interns hold the responsibility of ensuring that each monkey is cared for, and the Sanctuary functions smoothly. Every team member has a say in what we think is best for each individual, and being trusted with the responsibility of caring for the monkeys has been a deeply empowering and rewarding experience. The level of training and care given by management far exceeded my expectations, and the depth of our responsibilities for and relationships with the animals was beyond what I could have anticipated.

For my independent project, I focused on what it means to be a Sanctuary and the different ways that we as caregivers can foster such an environment. I created three new documents for the manuals to specifically provide information and instruction on how we as caretakers can uphold the true meaning of Sanctuary. These documents focused on Hawaiian values, interpersonal communication, and the importance of mindfulness in animal caregiving. Through each of these documents, I sought to help clarify how we can integrate some of the more intangible and abstract components of being a PPS caregiver with the more tangible and concrete aspects of the working experience. By adding new types of protocols to the manuals that deliberately blend the core tenets of the Sanctuary—open-mindedness, peace, compassion, love—with our daily animal care tasks, I wanted to make the meaning of Sanctuary more accessible to each team member. Ultimately, I hoped to provide information about how we can manifest Sanctuary in every task we perform in caring for the monkeys.

Through this internship, I have learned more than I thought possible in just one year. There were times that were difficult and times that challenged me in many ways, but through those experiences I have grown. In this realm of work, we give of ourselves without expecting anything in return; Nonetheless, these monkeys and this experience have given me more than I could put into words. I gained an in-depth understanding of primate behavior, exotic animal care, and the functioning of a Sanctuary. I gained confidence as a trainer, animal caregiver, and member of the PPS team. I gained new perspectives on the world and a renewed sense of appreciation for the Earth and all of its beings. I gained strength, independence, and a deeper understanding of both myself and the people around me around me. I gained wisdom and knowledge from each team member, and made friendships and memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

As my internship draws to an end, I reflect on my time here with the monkeys, and the ways that they’ve made me smile and laugh each and every day. For example, the time(s) when Sylvan unknowingly dropped the contents of his ti packet to the floor of his Enclosure, then looked at me in disbelief as if I hadn’t given him a snack or was playing some sort of joke. Or the drastic lengths we went to to prevent Genevieve from eating critters that we knew would upset her stomach. I will miss the little things, like hearing Pacey “happy chirp” when I walk past his Enclosure and the way Nikki screams with excitement each day before receiving her medications as if it’s something totally new. I will miss hearing the monkeys call to one another in the afternoon, and the sound of Prospero banging on his metal roof in the early hours of the morning. These sounds, along with the singing of the birds, the mooing of cows nearby, and the sound of rain falling on the yurts became the soundtrack to our lives, and one that I will deeply miss.

I love the monkeys here with all my heart and cannot yet fathom the idea of leaving them. I will miss seeing their beautiful little faces, and the happiness that they bring me each day, however I know that the memories they have given me will bring comfort and joy to my heart for years to come. Leaving them will undoubtedly be the most difficult aspect of my experience here, but I am assured in knowing that they are the hands of some of the greatest people and caretakers I’ve known. This internship has been one of my most profound experiences and has impacted my life in more ways than I can count. Mahalo to everyone who makes the Sanctuary all that it is; I will forever be grateful for my time at PPS and the opportunity to live and grow with the amazing primates here- both human and monkey alike.

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a resident intern at Pacific Primate Sanctuary, and have been living here for about 5 months. The Sanctuary is unique in that our work is dedicated solely to giving the animals the peaceful, fulfilling lives they deserve. In all my work with animals, I have never seen a place so dedicated to understanding the specific behaviors, needs, and tendencies of each individual that resides here. Rather than just meeting their basic needs, the Sanctuary gives each individual the specialized care they need to heal and grow, both physically and emotionally. The Sanctuary is just that... a Sanctuary. It is a place of nurturing compassion, love, and healing for all those who enter. I will forever be grateful for my time at PPS and the opportunity to live and grow with the amazing primates here- both monkey and human alike.

1 D.Dressler

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The staff and administration is totally devoted to this project and to the monkeys they care for. The facility is immaculate and beautiful. The animals have their own jungle environments similar to what their bodies need and are designed for. Their food is all the best quality, organic (much of it grown on the property) and balanced. They get sunshine and moonlight and cozy warm houses, along with music and tons of care and compassion. Impressive and positive!

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2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Fantastic, caring and detailed personnell who truly care and give selflessly and tirelessly to relieving animal suffering and providing a place of refuge and healing.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to Pacific Primate Sanctuary a year ago for the internship opportunity, and as my year comes to its end, I find myself reflecting on everything I've experienced. Everyone here truly cares for the monkeys, and the effort they put into that care and spreading their message is astonishing. I will never forget the year that I lived with these monkeys and worked with these people.

2 Jessica F.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the past two years, I have been lucky enough to serve as a resident caretaker for the monkeys at Pacific Primate Sanctuary. Each day, I am blessed to serve these creatures who are beautiful both inside and out, and help provide them with the natural and free lifestyle they deserve.

2 Tiffany B.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a resident intern at Pacific Primate Sanctuary for 10 months, and couldn't have hoped for a better place to learn about caring for primates. The monkeys receive specialized care, nurturing and enrichment that allow them to thrive and encourage them to display natural behaviors. The Sanctuary's dedication to primate conservation and welfare is remarkable, and being a part of the team is a privilege!

2 Terese W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer of the Pacific Primate Sanctuary, I am honored to play a part in the healing of the monkeys that come and take refuge from places that had treated them terribly - laboratories, exhibits, domestication.

When the monkeys first arrive their hair is falling out, they’re malnourished, and emotionally and physically stressed. They look absolutely dreadful. They are given an enclosure to help them recover. It’s a wonderful sight to see them a few months later, settled in - enjoying their new home, chittering to one another, basking in the morning sun.

This is what some of the monkeys lived in while at the laboratories. Now it keeps the birds and rats from eating the fruit collected for them. From caging to nourishing; from caged to nourished. A place of refuge, for healing, the Pacific Primate Sanctuary.

Terese Masters

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for the Pacific Primate Sanctuary for the last seven years, and have seen first hand what a model non-profit this organization is. Everyone at the sanctuary's sole focus is to care for and rehabilitate these precious primates.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

The Pacific Primary Sanctuary is a wonderful non profit. They provide a healthy and beautiful sanctuary for monkeys to live out their lives. If all creatures were shown so much love and compassion what a better world it would be.

Ellen B

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3

Donor

Rating: 5

Pacific Primary Sanctuary is a wonderful non-profit. Taking care of abused and exploited monkeys is such a noble calling. They provide a beautiful and healthy environment for the monkeys to live out their lives. All creatures should be shown such love and compassion; how lucky those monkeys are.
Ellen B

2 tauridvm

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been a consulting veterinarian for Pacific Primate Sanctuary since the late 1990's. I have seen their dedication to building and maintaining a state-of-the-art facility to care for these threatened and endangered species of New World non-human primates. The program has grown considerably as the need for a sanctuary for these species has continued to grow. They provide optimal nutrition and husbandry for these animals. They have a growing educational program which not only trains primatologists but their outreach teaches the general public about nonhuman primates, ecology and conservation. Their medical care is top-notch for the animals. They keep extremely detained observations and records on the animals, and the overall facility goes far beyond what the regulations require. They are a model animal sanctuary in all aspects.

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4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of working with the Sanctuary for over 15 years in a consulting role concerning the health of the monkeys. The facility is exemplary and its nutrition, husbandry, and preventive health program as well as any necessary health care are far beyond what zoos can do for their animals. Their animals live to old age in a beautiful habitat where their physical and mental needs are met. The Sanctuary program is visionary for these animals. Lucy Wormser as Director has established a fabulous program and facility.

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2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've followed the progress of PPS since its inception. It is a force for the good as it protects and rehabilitates primates by providing top notch care and a rare ingredient: sanctuary.

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4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PPS is a gift to the community and the world. It embodies the compassion and care for all creation that imbues all religious and humanistic traditions. The founder and all the volunteers are incredibly dedicated and skilled. PPS is a bright light in our troubled world.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am blessed to be apart of the PPS Ohana! Being a resident intern has forever impacted my life in a positive light. All the tiny angelic monkeys that are lucky enough to live at PPS are taken care of with such love and respect, and I am so happy to be apart of it. PPS is not just a sanctuary, it's love, harmony, peace and home ❤

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3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began my journey at this organization about 4 months ago and it has truly exceeded my expectations! The monkeys at PPS are taken care of with such love and compassion; you can tell that they are comfortable, and happy. The values at PPS continue to be held and highest standards by the numerous management, interns, and volunteers that donate their time to the needs of each unique monkey. Being part of the Pacific Primate Sanctuary has been a true blessing.