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Michelle V.

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1 reviews

Review for Center For Great Apes, Wauchula, FL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

There are many wonderful animal rescues out there. But the Center for Great Apes is among the finest. Every animal there has an incredible story. Whether they were rescued from private owners who didn't understand their needs, or a research facility or the entertainment industry, they all come needing just a little bit more love and attention than the average primate. I am a volunteer at the Center and have seen first-hand the transition from their arrival state to being themselves or even comfortable among their own kind. Some of them having never seen another chimpanzee or orangutan before that time. It truly is remarkable!! And the staff, volunteers and donors play a HUGE role in that transition. For anyone who knows what great apes are like and how they behave, it is not a quick and/or easy process. These highly-intelligent creatures require so much more than food, water and shelter. The Center for Great Apes provides that and allows these animals to just be. They don't have to play any special "role" other than themselves. They get the life-long care they deserve. Unfortunately, the center cannot last on good intentions alone. Chimpanzees and orangutans can live into their 40's and 50's. It takes time, money, dedication and love. Spend just a few moments on their website, or if you're lucky the Center itself, and you will see what I mean. The Center for Great Apes is a one-of-a-kind facility that provides one-in-a-million care.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing some of the apes meet their own kind for the first time. So many of them are pulled from their mothers shortly after birth. A traumatic experience that haunts them for many years. Some come from situations where their former caregivers did not know how to properly care for them. The diets they were fed caused them to gain unhealthy amounts of weight. The staff at CGA works very hard in transitioning them to a proper diet, getting them down to a manageable weight and introducing them to others.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Raise awareness of them. Because of their well-respected reputation, the Center gets calls on a regular basis asking them to take on another animal in need. Unfortunately, they cannot always say yes. Due to the specialized needs of their residents, taking on another is not just getting "another mouth to feed". There is so much more involved. More that requires funding. Raising awareness of the Center and it's mission will bring in the much needed resources necessary to allow them to further their cause.

Would you volunteer for this group again?


For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?


Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?


What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

From someone who has an animal care background, the Center does everything right.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Absolutely!!! I have 40+ new friends who will hold a special place in my heart. Looking into their eyes, you see a reflection of your own soul. That will teach you more about yourself than anything else.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Volunteer & I have been a Great Ape Caregiver volunteer. I get the awesome job of helping staff members look after the animals in their charge. Everything from cleaning, to diet prep, to laundry to fun enrichment projects. It's wonderful work for a more than wortwhil.