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
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 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.
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.
Jungle friends is a awesome place, have been there to help several times. Love the habitats and the great spaces that all of the monkeys have to play . They are the luckiest monekys to be able to live their lives out in such a special place. To have the dedication, and the constant observation, of all of the people that makes JUNGLE FRIENdS, the place that it is. Thank you for caring. Brandon Dillard
My experience with Jungle Friends is from a slightly different viewpoint, as the owner of a 20 year old Umbrella Cockatoo that Kari agreed to provide sanctuary for. There are only five large exotic birds living there since primates are the specialty of this organization. I had raised this bird "from an egg" and have always been involved in ensuring his well being, either in my direct care, or in the care of an adoptive home. In May of 2012 I became aware that he was in a situation of neglect at an adoptive home in Florida and he needed rapid intervention. While I was considering all options Kari Bagnall, of Jungle Friends heard of our plight and offered to take him in for a safe lifetime home. A few weeks later I flew down to Florida from Vermont, rented a big SUV and retrieved my "boy", taking him to Gainesville myself for placement. Jungle Friends was known to me by their excellent reputation and their accreditation status, but I had not visited before. I was provided housing and stayed several days, working as a volunteer throughout that time, while I settled my beloved bird into his new aviary home. The experience far exceeded my every hope for him. Jungle Friends is a serene beautiful country setting ideally suited by climate and location for its purpose as an animal sanctuary. Kari and her staff, interns and volunteers are fully commited to providing top shelf care to all residents. Every aspect of their well being is attended to. Firstly for physical health every animal has clean spacious secure housing, high quality food, and all appropriate veterinary care. Going way beyond the basics, the happiness of each individual is carefully considered by providing expression of their natural behaviors and all accomodations for their personal needs. Kari is exceptionally knowledgeable in the care of these highly intelligent social animals, which includes the various species of primates and the few lucky exotic birds that get to call Jungle Friends a permanent home. I have been directly involved for eight years as a volunteer and employee of another first class accredited animal sanctuary. Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary is the best of its kind as a species specialized animal care non-profit. Kari has my endorsement, my financial support, and my heartfelt appreciation for the life she has given my beloved cockatoo, and the life she provides to all of her "monks". If you care about wild animals having the best life captivity can provide, please give your support to Jungle Friends.
Thank you so much for your kind words. I read your comment while I had Gabby with me, too funny! It was cold last night, got down to about 38, and since Gabby does not have a friend yet, I brought him inside my trailer with me so he could be nice and warm, we had a wonderful visit this morning. He is so funny, we were having our morning meeting and he felt he was being ignored so he walked off of me and onto the counter and started throwing everything out of the bowls onto the floor, peanuts, a bag of chips, he even picked up an apple and threw it down, what a comedian. He is back inside again tonight, it will get down to about 40, he is in my guest room so he can get to sleep early, but he will join the morning meeting again until it warms up. He has a heat lamp of course, but no one to snuggle with, so I am one of his snuggle buddies (he has a few) until we can find him a proper cockatoo companion, I am a poor substitute for a bird friend, but we are both enjoying each other's company!
We have a 26 year old capuchin named Max who has been apart of our family all that time. But he was just not living the life we wanted for him and I never would have just given him to just anyplace. We searched and found this place and it has been a life saver for Max we took care of him as best we could but he needed so much more. Now he has it. This place is amazing and every one there is there for the monkeys. I helped out there and it was hard work everyone there is just great. I plan on helping again as much as I can. Thank you Jungle Friends...keep up the great work... Chris Coppock Allegan MI.
Thank you Chris, and you will be happy to know that Max is being featured in our Jungle Friends 2013 Monkey Calendar, as well as in our newsletter! We don't like to have favorite monkeys here at the sanctuary, but Max is certainly a favorite! He has been asking about you, when will you and your family come out for a visit? Jungle Friends is a wonderful place to spend the Holidays!
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!!
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!