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Shining World Awards

Shining World Compassion Award Recipient: Ms. Patti Ragan (vegetarian) of Center for Great Apes – Loving Haven for Primate-People

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The term “great apes” refers to four different classes of primate-people: gorillas, bonobos, orangutans, and chimpanzees. But when these babies and juveniles are tragically and heartlessly separated from their mothers for use in research facilities, the entertainment industry, or to be sold as exotic pets, they are trained in unnatural behaviors that preclude them from ever returning to the wild. “I just knew about in Borneo where I had volunteered to work and in the zoo world. And I was shocked when I realized that some of these apes were going on to entertainment and services and private owners.”

The Center for Great Apes was set up as a nonprofit organization in 1993, but it wasn’t until 1997 that Ms. Ragan was able to find a suitable rural location for the primate-people. Over the next 20 years, the sanctuary expanded to almost 50 hectares and is now a forever home to 53 ape-people. Taking care of the animal-people’s health is a top priority at the Center for Great Apes. The chimpanzee-and orangutan-people are fed several times a day with fresh fruits, vegetables, and special high-fiber biscuits. “Veterinarians in the zoo community have been setting great ape heart health for gorillas for maybe 15 years. We train them for health, health checks.”

Upon learning about this caring work, Supreme Master Ching Hai: “Gratefully present the Shining World Compassion Award to Ms. Patti Ragan, with a token gift of US$15,000 to support the Center for Great Apes.” And here is the Award letter from our Supreme Master to Ms. Ragan. “This Award is presented in recognition of your benevolent heart. Touched by their serenity and need for assistance, you created an ideal haven for great ape-people to enjoy the remainder of their lives in a loving environment. The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries said ‘The Center for Great Apes is a shining example of all that a sanctuary should be.’”

“I would like to say to the Supreme Master that I'm very impressed that an organization would do research and find places like ours to help support, and I’ve been on the website, and it’s wonderful that it’s about love and life and really protecting each other and protecting animals and thank You.”
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