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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Protection of Endangered Species

Mission: Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary--the largest New World primate sanctuary in the U.S.--provides permanent, high-quality sanctuary care for monkeys who have been abused, confiscated by authorities, used in research, kept as "pets" or who are simply no longer wanted. We care for the individual medical, psychological and behavioral needs of these monkeys by protecting and providing them a safe, healthy and stimulating environment for life.

Results: Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary was incorporated in 1997 and is now home to 300 monkeys who live on 39 acres in Gainesville, Florida. The greatest demand for sanctuary care within the past 18 months is for monkeys being released from research laboratories, a trend that shows no signs of letting up. 76 of the monkeys rescued since 2014 have come from research laboratories and we are in active discussions with other universities who wish to retire their monkeys. The sanctuary facility is as unique as the monkey residents who call it home, We have designed acres of "living habitats" where monkeys live in spacious natural habitats linked together by miles of elevated runways. We are home to the state-of-the-art Bob Barker Medical Clinic, a medical facility designed specifically for monkey healthcare. We proudly specialize in caring for monkeys with special-needs including those suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes and those with physical limitations such as blindness, amputations and paralysis.

Programs: Saving Monkeys, Promoting Compassion.

Community Stories

109 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Elizabeth23456

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered as an intern last year and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Living in England, I haven't had the chance to go back, but if it was up to me I'd be there everyday! The work we had to do to keep the sanctuary running was worth it to see the monks in a safe place and enjoying themselves. Kari's hard work and dedication to the monkeys is inspiring. I fell in love with a number of the Capuchin and spider monkeys- they all have amazing characters! I felt that the time I spent there was valued by everyone- primate and human. I am very grateful for the opportunity I was given to work in such a special place.

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kari 10/26/2012

Thank you so much for your kind words and all of your hard work while you were here interning, the monkeys and the humans really appreciated all of your dedication to the work involved in caring for these amazing beings. I hope you will come back for another internship, or just stop by for a visit the next time you are in the US!

2 Jason J G.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Jungle Friends about 10 years ago and have been a supported ever since. I have been honored and lucky enough to have been able to go down to FL and volunteer for one week and I hope to be able to do it again. Kari and all the monkey caretakers are amazing as they do their best everyday to make sure these monkeys are healthy and happy and have friends and plenty of room to play and hide and move. Everything Jungle Friends does is amazing and the knowledge that they provide and give out about not having monkeys as pets or as to why we need to stop testing on them is very thorough and thoughtful. Thank You to Kari and everyone at Jungle Friends I hope they are able to continue their magnificent work until we are finally able to educate people into not having monkeys as pets and completely shut down the terrible monkey testing industry.

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kari 10/26/2012

Thank you Jason, for your kind words and for your generous continued support for the monkeys at Jungle Friends. I hope you will come back out for another visit soon, you are welcome anytime!

1 floridapotter

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have known Kari and volunteered at Jungle friends for a few years. The work and dedication of all here is incredible....what a wonderful life is provided for former pets and monks abused in research/pet shop situations. Their community outreach is outstanding... I appreciate helping even if it means a 2 hour drive to spend 6 hot and humid hpurs hours washing dishes, slicing veggies and clamping together caging material....it's all for the animals!!

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kari 10/26/2012

Thank you so much, we sure do appreciate all of our Tampa volunteers! The commitment and dedication you show traveling all the way to Jungle Friends and back again is truly amazing and shows what kind of stuff you are made of - the right stuff!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I believed I was "rescuing" a baby brown capuchin when his owner unexpectedly passed away. I fell in love with him immediately and thought I was giving him a good life. Then I saw a documentary about Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary and realized that I could never give him the life he deserved. I contacted Kari at JF and explained Jak's (the greatest monkey ever!) situation. Not only did she agree to take him and provide a forever home with his like species, she also agreed to take me! By allowing me to visit, volunteer, and receive invaluable education and advice about the plight of exoctic animals, I am now able to pass this knowledge on to other's. The only way Jak could be happier is if he had been allowed to stay with his mother as a baby. I love this sanctuary and all of the interns, volunteers, and staff that make it their daily mission to care for all the monkeys... and dogs...and all creatures great and small!!

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kari 10/26/2012

Oh, Wilma, you did rescue Jak Jak, who knows what would have happened to him if you did not offer him a home. You gave him the best home you could…being human and all. And you made sure he got the life he deserves with others of his own species at Jungle Friends. Here he met his soul mate Abby, what a great pair of monkeys they are! Jak Jak is not only loved by Abby, he is loved by everyone at the sanctuary. As much as we don’t like to have favorites - Jak Jak is a favorite!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This place is magical. It has a certain aura that makes you want to be a part of a grand plan for helping these little furry creatures, and there is way more to it than just the animals. The people here have purpose and a presence of being in service, not servitude, that creates a whole community of caring persons. And they will care about you, immediately, even for just being here.
I am not here to work with the monkeys directly and I much prefer it that way. Amazingly, whenever I show up the little guys just go crazy screaming at the sight of me, knowing I belong there and greeting me like their long lost friend!


Client Served

Rating: 5

Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary is an amazing place with amazing monkeys, as well as amazing human primates!

Amanda43

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After I heard about Jungle Friends I went out and volunteered on a Friday, assuming that it would be a great one-day experience. I enjoyed my time there, so I decided that I would go back again. After going back to the sanctuary for the second time, I fell in love. I have been going out to Jungle Friends on a regular basis for quite some time there. I often joke that the monkeys at the sanctuary get fed and treated better than myself. Not only are all the monkeys at Jungle Friends absolutely wonderful, but the volunteers and staff at the sanctuary are outstanding. Every one is so hard work, and truly in love with what they do. The atmosphere and aura is great, and it has been one of the best experiences I have ever had. I am so thankful that I have been able to spend my weekends with the monkeys and the humans at Jungle Friends, it has opened my eyes and helped me to understand myself in many ways. I look forward for what lies ahead! They are doing wonderful things.

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kari 10/26/2012

Amanda, we are so fortunate to have you as one of our dedicated volunteers! And of course, we hope that after you finish your schooling you will come and work for the monkeys full-time! You would be a most welcome member to our team. the humans and the monkeys love you!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The rescue and rehabilitation of animals that have been thought what these animals have is a tremendous undertaking and the way in which they accomplish their goal is truly remarkable!

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kari 10/26/2012

Thank you Erin, we hope you will come and visit the sanctuary and meet the amazing monkeys and dedicated staff and volunteers.

Wendy34

Donor

Rating: 5

My daughter discovered Jungle Friends when she was a student at the Santa Fe CC zoo animal tech. Program. I immediately was impressed with its mission and compassion for our primate cousins. I began by sponsoring two monks and have contributed on an ongoing basis since. Monkeys should not be pets and when they act as monkeys, humans find that they cannot keep them anymore or put them into inappropriate situations. Many times they take their teeth out to stop them from biting--a perfectly normal thing for a monkey to do in a stressful situation. Monks are also used in research- many of these poor guys have never felt the sun on their faces and live in small sad cages alone. Jungle Friends provides a natural habitat for such monks, a place where they can live outside in some semblance of normalcy for a monkey. When you see a monkey released into their habitat with others of their species for the first time, you cannot help but be touched by the work that they do. It is a joy to behold. But building habitats and feeding monks and providing medical care for them costs money, and I sincerely hope that you will consider providing as sizable an award to this wonderful organization. The work is hard, but they are willing to do it--we just need to help them do it by providing the resources they so desperately need.

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kari 10/26/2012

We love you Wendy, you understand the plight of the monkeys as well as any of us. And we thank you for your generous and continued support for the monkeys at Jungle Friends - you are the best!

Celeste J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jungle Friends has truly changed my life. I have only been involved with Jungle Friends for a few months, but it only took a few hours to see the incredible work that the organization does. Once I came here, I couldn't imagine ever leaving. Everyone works hard and keeps the monkeys as a first priority, we also have compassion for all animals and humans. The attention to detail from the caregivers and volunteers cannot be matched anywhere else. I am proud to be a part of Jungle Friends and support and amazing organization.

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kari 10/26/2012

I just don't know what we would do without you Celeste. I knew when I met you at the Animal Rights Conference that you would fit right in with our Jungle Friends Family. I am so glad you chose us, I know you had other offers, much more financially rewarding, but what better reward could there be than to watch a monkey become a monkey :-)?

AnimalLover

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Jungle Friends is a wonderful sanctuary for primates. Their staff, interns, and volunteers are some of the most dedicated I have ever seen! The "monks" are all very well cared for, and all in much better conditions than from whence they came. The folks at Jungle Friends also strive to end the use of primates in labs for research and educate the public that they do NOT make good pets!

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kari 10/26/2012

Thank you so much for your kind words, we truly appreciate all you do!

1 DanielleBa

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first experience with Jungle Friends was in 2008 when I came on as an intern. The sanctuary is a wonderful place and as many of the previous reviewers have stated you become one big family and stay in touch with people you meet there for years afterwards and return for years afterwards. I have since completed two other internships and I return at least once a year, though unfortunately the periods spent there become shorter and shorter. When you first join the jungle friends family you instantly fall in love with the monkeys. It is really wonderful to see how monkeys who are former pets (or former lab animals) and who have never interacted with another of their species slowly come out of their shell and start acting like real monkeys. I also think it is great that Jungle Friends aims to educate the public about the harms of the pet trade, laboratory research, etc, while also educating the public and volunteers about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. I always miss the sanctuary, the monkeys, the people, and the dogs while I'm away from Jungle Friends and cannot wait for the next time I can visit and volunteer for a little while.

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kari 10/26/2012

We sure do miss you around here Danielle, the monkeys are always asking about you:-)!I hope you will return soon - how about another internship, you have a lot more monkeys to meet and fall in love with!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary is a wonderful place dedicated to making a difference in the lives of humans and animals. They offer an excellent experience and teach valuable life skills that we don't learn in the classroom or at a traditional job. I had the opportunity to visit a handful of sanctuaries during my time at Jungle Friends, and while each one has something special to offer, I knew that the environment in which Jungle Friends allows their monkeys to live is one of the best out there. They get to live as close to wild monkeys as they can get even though they are in confinement. They have trees, grass, other monkeys that they get to live with. Jungle Friends is more than just a place for monkeys to have a forever home, they are also dedicated to educating the public about the dangers of the exotic animal trade and the meat industry. They are committed to educating all of their volunteers the benefits of a plant based diet for the animals, for human health and for the environment. I continue to support Jungle Friends by visiting yearly and supporting through donations.

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kari 10/26/2012

The Mighty Quinn, we sure do miss you around here, the monkeys have all been asking about you! I sure hope you will come back soon, and if you want to help out at the next Monkey Business event in Las Vegas, please let us know! We definitely want to start having an event every year!

Krystle O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at Jungle Friends while looking for a job in the animal field. I absolutely loved this place! Not only was it just a fun place to spend my time but it became apparent almost immediately how much they care more these animals and the impact they are making.

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kari 10/26/2012

Hi Krystle, thank you for your kind words, we sure miss you around here! Hope you will come back soon to volunteer and meet all the new monkeys, whew!

Lawrence C.

Donor

Rating: 5

It is rewarding to contribute to an organization where more than 90% of every dollar given goes directly to the care and welfare of the Jungle Friends monkeys. Since I live nearby, I frequently visit and see first hand how hard the staff, interns and volunteers work; literally from dusk to dawn. The monkey habitats are very naturalistic and full of enrichments.

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kari 10/26/2012

Thank you Larry, and hopefully soon to live even closer :-)!

Jadie B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first visited Jungle Friends in June 2009 as an intern. I wasn't expecting to find a second family out there and another place I could call home. Jungle Friends makes you feel so welcome, and the monkeys are characters that soon get under your skin and become a very important part of your life. Having worked for a number of zoos and animal organisations, I can say that Jungle Friends is in a league of its own when it comes to their ethic and care for the animals it provides their forever homes to. Kari has become like family to me and can safely say that I can call her whenever I need advice or help with anything. In other organisations, I have rarely seen the founder getting their hands dirty with interns on the more trivial jobs that need doing in the sanctuary, but she would do anything for any of the monkeys at Jungle Friends, from staying up all night to nurse a sick monkey, to cleaning floors and enclosures. Everyone there is a solid team, looking out for each other and the monkeys. As a result of my fantastic experience in 2009, I returned in 2010 for an apprenticeship and have visited every year since. I plan on returning soon again and could not recommend this place more highly for anyone wanting to learn about primates, their care or the running of a successful primate sanctuary, as long as they don't mind working hard and as part of a fantastic team.

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kari 10/26/2012

Thank you so much Jadie, we sure do appreciate your compassion and dedication to Jungle Friends and we look forward to seeing you in January 2013 for another 5-month stint here at the sanctuary. You have a lot of new monkeys to meet, and the Munchkins have all been asking about you :-)!

AnimalAnn

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is heartwarming to see the monkeys enjoying spacious enclosures with trees to climb and soft grass under their feet, instead of the hard, cold cement other lesser quality places have their monkeys. I enjoyed helping to make a habitat, and preparing healthy, high quality diets for the monkeys!

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kari 10/26/2012

Thank you so much for your review and for your volunteerism, we sure do appreciate your support!

Vicky W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jungle Friends gave me the greatest experiences I have yet in life. I traveled all the way from England, originally only for 3 months but ended up staying over a year. Its like one big family, everyone helps out each other and its amazing to see the difference they make to these monkeys lives. Im even planning on visiting again this summer, cant stay away for too long. This is the best sanctuary I have been to so far and I think it will always remain top and deserves to be there.

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kari 10/26/2012

Hi Vicky, Thank you for your great review. We sure hope you will come back again soon, we miss you! Jadie will be here for another 5-month stint in January 2013, won't you join her :-)?!

12 BigCatRescue

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I just can't say enough good things about Jungle Friends and its founder Kari Bagnall. She has provided a safe haven for more than 100 primates and is an accredited sanctuary, which means she does not buy, breed, sell, trade nor add to the problem by enabling breeders & exploiters to use her as a dumping ground. Our own volunteers from Big Cat Rescue frequently drive several hours to help Jungle Friends build cages because they know first hand the good work being done there.

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kari 10/26/2012

Thank you so much for your kind words, and right back at ya! We sure do appreciate the BCR volunteers, it has been Big Cat Rescue to the rescue for over 10 years now, and we sure appreciate your support for the monkeys, and of course, for the cats you serve! Jungle Friends loves Big Cat Rescue!