Center For Great Apes

A nonprofit organization

$88,786 raised by 594 donors

59% complete

$150,000 Goal

The Center for Great Apes has established a unique niche in the sanctuary world as the only accredited sanctuary for both orangutans and chimpanzees in the Americas.  The Center has also played a major role in ending the use of great apes in entertainment by accepting exotic pets and entertainment great apes as the owners and trainers agreed never to own or use a great ape again.  

For 30 years, CGA has provided excellent care to more than 85 great apes, with over 70 coming from the entertainment business and the exotic pet trade.  They once worked in circuses, movies, television, advertising, and live stage shows in nightclubs and major tourist attractions.

Funds from Giving Day for Apes will provide the food, space, veterinary care, and enrichment given daily to the apes.


Our caregivers spend every day with our orangutan and chimpanzee residents, and while taking care of their daily needs, they also build close relationships and bonds with them. The apes' personalities shine through these relationships, and we end up with the most adorable stories and "fun facts" about them. Here are just a few of the most recent ones shared by our caregivers.



Founding ape Pongo likes to participate in fishing peanut butter smears from hard hats that are hung outside his habitat. He's harder to enrich since not many activities or food motivates him. Pongo likes to spend time playing with Mari, but he tends to spend most of his time inside his culvert in front of the fan.

Sunshine and Cahaya

Sunshine lives with Archie, Keagan, and Cahaya. She spends most of her time with Cahaya and Keagan. She has been very playful with Cahaya, hiding under blankets and pulling Cahaya in. Afternoons are Sunny’s favorite time of day. She is always so playful! You can consistently hear her laughing and playing with Cahaya. She has the best laugh!


While doing a blood pressure training session, Brooks repeatedly kept putting a gorilla Kong toy on his head and balancing it to get his caregiver's attention. The next day, he did it again to see if the caregiver would giggle at him…and of course, the caregiver obliged!



Keagan is a water baby. She will run up to her caregivers right away in the morning asking for the hose. She will clean her toys and make mud pies for hours. Keagan adores playing with non-toxic bubble bath. 


Maggie has the reputation of being the “grooming police.” She LOVES grooming everyone and has no hesitation or boundaries when she sticks her fingers in someone’s nose or ear. She was trying to groom Jacob, and he kept pulling his face away. She kept pulling his face back to groom his ears, eyes, and nose. He eventually gave in and just let her groom him!


Choose your support!

Donate $5

To purchase enrichment "snacks" for the apes

Donate $10

To purchase sheets and nesting materials to keep the apes comfy at night
To purchase daily fresh produce and browse for the apes

Donate $50

To help purchase enrichment devices & puzzles to entertain & engage the apes

To help with routine vet care and medications

Donate $100

To help keep the apes cool with shade cloth, trees and fans

Donate $250

To help build ape climbing structures in their habitats

Donate $500

To help with ape habitat renovations and upkeep

Providing lifetime care for nearly 70 orangutans and chimpanzees (with 50-60 year lifespans) is a huge commitment. The average annual care cost for one great ape at the sanctuary is over $25,000. That doesn’t include the added veterinary care for the apes with special needs, health challenges, or special care for those considered elderly.

As an accredited and true sanctuary, we care for the apes as individuals. Our Caregivers take the time to understand the apes’ personalities along with their likes and dislikes, translating into compassionate care.

DONATE $30 for 30 YEARS!

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Organization Data


Organization name

Center For Great Apes

Tax id (EIN)



Environment Animals


PO BOX 488