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

Rating: 5 stars  

The Center For Orangutan and Chimpanzee Conservation is one of the most amazing places I've ever visited. They provide a safe, healthy, enriching, and loving environment for apes that have been abused, neglected, used and left behind. The apes spend their day traveling through their private forest in an elevated tunnel chute system, playing with their swings, slides and "vines" or just hanging out in their 35 foot tall habitat with cypress tree structures. They have beautiful night houses, great play equipment, pool parties, art time and so much more! The staff knows each one by name and can tell you all about their personalities and histories. They love and care for the apes as if they were their own children. I work in the kitchen and help prepare healthy, nutricious meals and snacks that the apes love to eat. There's even a cookbook with each apes' favorite food or snack! They cool off with frozen lemonade pops and bamboo with frozen juice inside. Every effort is made to delight and enrich the lives of these apes who were cruelly removed from their environment for the profit or pleasure of people. The Center gives them back their dignity and way of life and gives us the opportunity to learn more about these awesome creatures. I am privileged to be a volunteer in this organization!

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

Since I"ve worked at the Center, I've seen the amazing results love, care, and the return to a natural way of life have had on the apes. Pongo, kept in a cage in a garage for 10 years, lost most of his hair and wouldn't leave the night house. Now he has the most beautiful red hair, will come outside and loves to sit in the rain! Mari, who has no arms, learned to walk and do all she needs with her feet. She's happy and loved! So many success stories, so little room to write!

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

I would give them lots of money to construct more of the wonderful habitats for Orangutans and Chimps who still need a permanent, loving home. I would move them closer to my home ( I live 2 hours away) so I could volunteer every day and not just on Wednesdays! I would also give every one of the staff a big raise for all the dedication, hard work and genuine affection they display always.

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?

A lot

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?

There isn't anything that could make it better except having them closer. I drive 2-21/2 hours each way. It's well worth the drive though!

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

I learned SO much from my training and contact with the apes. Each one has a distinct personality and I love them! I've met such inspiring people like Patty Regan , Amy who runs the feed room and Tina who did my training. My eyes were opened to what life is like for animals in the entertainment world and in research labs!

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I feel energized, happy and satisfied whenever I work at the Center. I grow more attached to the apes and the people who work there each time I visit!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Volunteer & I went through training and passes several tests to be able to work in the office, help prepare meals in the kitchen and make "enrichment boxes" for the apes. I also help with the mounds of laundry(apes love blankets and sheets as well as clothing to make.