Mari

Mari  Mari was born October 24, 1981.

Mari started out life with a handicap because while an infant her mother was in an agitated state and damaged Mari’s arms so badly she no longer has them.

Mari is incredible though because she gets around so well sometimes her keepers even forget she is missing her limbs.  She either walks upright to move around or will roll when she wants to get around faster.  She climbs the ladder to the top of her 30 foot enclosure using her chin and feet  Mari spends a lot of time walking upright through the woods in the special Boswell Walk-About Chute System at the center.

Mari arrived in the Center for Great Apes in 2001.  Pongo and Christopher were the first orangutans she met at the center and they have stayed great friends.  She has “adopted” five year old Pebbles.  She sleeps with Pebbles and even shares her food with Pebbles.

The carekeepers are very challenged to create activities to entertain Mari because she spent many years at a research center where she could solve computer mazes by manipulating a joystick with her feet plus many other problem solving activities.

Check out the website for the Center for Great Apes to see how you can help these amazing orangutans.

What can you do for Mari?  Donate enrichment items to the center.  Check out their Wish List for items you can donate.

You can send your donations to:  Center for Great Apes, Box 488, Wauchula, Florida 33873

If you want to learn more about how you can help Mari and the other orangutans and chimps that the center provides permanent homes to, contact them: http://www.prime-apes.org/html/contact.html

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A Wonderful Transformation – Radcliffe

Radcliffe 1st day  This is Radcliffe when he arrived at the Center for Great Apes in Florida.  He was too thin and had very little hair.  Obviously, he was not well physically nor psychologically.

Radcliffe was born on February 18, 1979 in a zoo in Ohio.  Radcliffe was unlucky in that he is a cross between a Bornean orangutan and a Sumatran orangutan.  This fact probably was why he was sold to a circus trainer as a baby. 

Thus began his entertainment career.  Yes, he was a television personality and he also had to perform for small traveling circuses during his early years (when he should have been with his mother).

You’ll NEVER guess what happened?  Of course, Radcliffe became too large for the trainers to handle safely.  He was sold to another zoo in New York and then to a roadside attraction in Florida.  He was almost to his final and best home he could imagine.

The roadside attraction closed and thankfully the Center for Great Apes was able to rescue him from his years in small cages.

Radcliffe up high  Radcliffe now gets to climb high in his sanctuary home.

Radcliffe up high 2  He lives with another orangutan named Bam Bam.

And, using the wonderful Boswell Walk-About Chute System he visits all of his other orangutan friends.

Center for Great Apes tunnel system

Radcliffe with enrichment  Radcliffe loves to play with all the enrichment items the center provides for him.  The center makes sure he gets three enrichments a day to keep his curious mind busy.  He really likes bubbles in his water and rags so he can wash down the toys, shelves and walls of his nighthouse.

Radcliffe 12 months  This is what Radcliffe looked like after 12 months at the center.  He not only looked better but he felt better.

Radcliffe started out life not so lucky since he was not pure Bornean nor pure Sumatran.  But if he could talk now he would say how thankful he is a cross between both types of orangutans because it brought him to the Center for Great Apes his final and best home.

What can you do for Radcliffe?  Donate enrichment items to the center.  Check out their Wish List for items you can donate.

You can send your donations to:  Center for Great Apes, Box 488, Wauchula, Florida 33873

If you want to learn more about how you can help Radcliffe and the other orangutans and chimps that the center provides permanent homes to, contact them: http://www.prime-apes.org/html/contact.html

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