Retired Movie Star – Geri the Orangutan

Center for Great Apes - Geri  Geri was born September 13, 1989 to be a movie star.  But like all other orangutans in the movie business she soon became to big to work with and at age 15 she was fortunate enough to find a home at the Center for Great Apes which was founded in 1993 by Patti Ragan.

Geri was worked in many commercials and films such as The Flintstones until her retirement and her eventual move to the Center for Great Apes in Florida in December 2004.  I say she was worked, not that she worked, because when you work you normally are paid for your time.  Geri was never paid for her time and even now does not get any support from her previous owners that exploited her when she was a baby.

She was fortunate in the fact that she came to the sanctuary with a good friend, Sammy.  Her and Sammy’s baby, Jam, was snatched from her as soon as he was born to be used in the entertainment industry also.  Thankfully, Jam came to live at the same sanctuary just 4 months after she arrived.  She and Jam were introduced to each other gradually and eventually reunited.

Now Geri has the comfort and companionship of all the orangutans at the center (14 in all at this time) as she roams through the tunnels that connect her to the other orangutans enclosures and to the large 34 feet high domed habitat.  While traveling through the tunnels she is able to not only observe and interact with other orangutans but she also can browse like wild orangutans do in the rainforest.

Center for Great Apes tunnel system  The Boswell Walk-About Chute System.

Center for Great Apes Domed Habitat  Huge 34 feet high domed habitat–large enough for adult orangutans to swing and play.

Geri is very observant and always thinking.  She is very relaxed and enjoys both playing by herself or with the other apes.

The orangutans at the center receive at least 3 enrichment items a day to keep their curious minds busy.  And one of Geri’s favorite enrichment times is when they are given old clothes to play with and she can put on gardening gloves.

Geri - Center for Great Apes  Geri must agree that cleanlinest is next to godliness because she loves to clean.  She is very concerned about having a clean home and gathers her dishes, washes them and hands them and her blankets to the caregivers.

Geri can never be released into the wild like the orangutans on Orangutan Island, but Patti and the rest of the staff at the Center for Great Apes are giving her the best living arrangements possible for the rest of her life where she will never be bred or observed by the general public as an attraction.

Why not let Geri know how much you love her by sending a donation to the Center for Great Apes?  They accept enrichment items and have a Wish List you can use to decide what to donate.  Of course, they will always accept monetary donations also. 

Geri  Geri would like to encourage you to send some gardening gloves!

Kind Regards,

April and Kesi

Kesi on ground

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