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  • Center for Great Apes Receives GFAS Accreditation

    Tue, 17 Jan 2012 11:29:50

    Center for Great Apes Receives GFAS Accreditation - There is a reason you need to know about it, too!

    The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) is honored to announce that the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida, has achieved GFAS Accreditation. Lots of apes that are used in the entertainment business become discarded, and shouldn't be. They have a place to go because of this amazing organization! We had to share!

    "It is hard to encapsulate in a few words all that is so right with this sanctuary," states Patty Finch, Executive Director of GFAS. "Patti Ragan, founder of the sanctuary, as well as their chief veterinarian each have over 20 years' experience in working with great apes, which means that the orangutans and chimpanzees are receiving a level of informed care that is simply unsurpassed. And the facility itself is inspiring with a mile of elevated chutes that allow the great apes to meander throughout the sanctuary and observe other groups of apes, or even walk themselves to the infirmary for health checks."

    The accreditation means Center for Great Apes meets the comprehensive and rigorous definition of a true sanctuary and is providing humane and responsible care of the primates, meeting rigorous and peer-reviewed standards for operations, administration, and veterinary care established by GFAS, which is the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries. The accreditation status also provides a clear and trusted means for public, donors, and government agencies to recognize Center for Great Apes as an exceptional sanctuary.

    Established in 1993, the Center for Great Apes is a 100-acre sanctuary in which more than 40 orangutans and chimpanzees have room to live in safety and in the company of their own species. It is the only sanctuary specifically dedicated to orangutans in the United States.

    Ragan says "Most of our primates have either been used in the entertainment industry as circus performers, movie actors, or as props in advertisements where they were worked in these situations as infants and juveniles until they become too strong to be safely handled by trainers. Others came out of the exotic pet trade where they were pulled away from their own mothers to be sold as pets to private owners. In either case, coming out of these environments, they are rarely accepted by accredited zoos and could never be returned to the wild. So we offer a permanent home to these special great apes where they can live out their lives with dignity in large space, with appropriate nutrition, and companionship with their own species."

    For more information on GFAS, please visit www.sanctuaryfederation.org. For additional information on the Center for Great Apes visit www.centerforgreatapes.org.

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