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Center for Great Apes Sanctuary

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The term “great apes” refers to four different classes of primates: gorillas, bonobos, orangutans and chimpanzees. Wildlife trafficking is rampant globally, and unfortunately, the great apes are among the victims of this cruel trade. In the early 1990s, Ms. Patti Ragan became aware of the fact that there were no sanctuaries for orangutans in the United States. Ms. Ragan decided to start a sanctuary for both orangutans and chimpanzees. 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 primates. Over the next 20 years, the sanctuary expanded to almost 50 hectares and now is a forever home to 53 apes. Not only did Ms. Ragan select an ideal location for the Center for Great Apes, but she also developed it into a perfect example of how an animal sanctuary should operate. In 2011, in recognition of her and her staff’s commitment to providing outstanding care for the primates, the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries granted full accreditation to the Center. The sanctuary is dedicated to maintaining as natural an environment as possible for the residents and keeping contact with people to a minimum. On July 2, 2018, the Center for Great Apes founder and president, Ms. Patti Ragan, was one of two individuals to receive the Carole Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence from the Board of Directors of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). We want to thank Ms. Patti Ragan and the Center for Great Apes for creating a safe and happy home for orangutans and chimpanzees in need of rescue, rehabilitation and lifelong care. We appreciate your benevolent heart and selfless dedication. May you bask in the bliss of God’s love. 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. May God always bless you and the gentle chimpanzee and orangutan residents abundantly.”
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