Ape Sanctuary In Summerville Damaged By Hurricane Matthew

Ape Sanctuary In Summerville Damaged By Hurricane Matthew

Did you know there is a sanctuary for apes and otters in the Charleston area?

Just outside of Charleston, South Carolina in the suburbs of Summerville nestled in a wooded area unknown to many residents of the area is a sanctuary that is home to apes. You read that right: apes living in a protected environment rescued from labs, zoos or given up by people who thought it would be fun to own a "monkey." If you are in the area and listen closely you can hear the sound of singing and whooping coming from the residents of the sanctuary.

The International Primate Protection League has its headquarters and sanctuary in Summerville, South Carolina complete with about 37 gibbons and six otters. Gibbons are classified as small apes. They live in family groups and mate with one partner (they are monogamous apes). Some of the happy couples include E.T. and Donny, Tong and Gibby, Ahisma and Elizabeth and several others.The otters are rescues as well and love to entertain the gibbons.Here are pictures of three of the residents.

Elizabeth, Dorothy, and Arun-Rangsi.

I had the opportunity to visit the sanctuary as part of a volunteer group a few years ago. Visitors are not allowed to roam the sanctuary as they would at a zoo because this is a home for the animals that have been rescued. These animals are not able to survive in the wild so this special place has become their home. The gibbons have a unique caging system that allows them to have a wide range to play, swing in the trees and eat fruit to their heart's content. I was amazed watching them in their home, and I loved giving them banana and mangos.

I also had the privilege of meeting Dr. Shirley McGreal, OBE, founder and director of the International Primate Protection League. She is passionate about this work and has been involved in primate protection and rescue for many years. Jane Goodall has even praised her work (see her message on the web page). I met Dr. McGreal in the small administrative office with a couple of the large dogs that live at the sanctuary as well. She was gracious and took time to show the volunteers around the site and introduce us to the apes.

During Hurricane Matthew, a good deal of damage was done to the sanctuary and they are currently working to restore and repair the damage. Because of the precautions and well-built houses, all the animals were safe. If you would like more information or might even want to volunteer or adopt a gibbon, I highly recommend it. You can read about the International Primate Protection League and Dr. Shirley on their website or on Facebook.

Cover Image Credit: International Primate Protection League

Popular Right Now

Why It Is Scientifically Proven That Golden Doodles Are The Best Kind Of Dogs

No matter what color you have, they are awesome.

Let me first say that golden-doodles are golden retrievers and a poodle mix. It's a big difference from other doodles. This is a new, popular kind of dog, that is known worldwide. It has been proven (not really but let's say it is) that they are the best dogs ever, in every color. Here are some reasons why:

1. They are great with kids!

2. Especially sick kids or kids with disabilities!

3. They enjoy the party life!

4. They love every kind of weather!

5. They can help you pass the hardest levels on Candy Crush.

6. They think they are humans.

Or just big babies.

7. They have the best manners!

8. They give the best hugs!

9. They make great therapy dogs! (Plus they are hypoallergenic)

10. They make everything a treasure!

11. They make the best snuggle buddies.

12. They make you laugh on your worse days.

* Basically all these pictures*

13. They are superstars!!

14. They make great study buddies! (Very important for college students or middle/high school students)

15. But most importantly, they are the cutest.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

What It's Like Growing Up As A Veterinarian's Daughter

Pets are a part of your family and my family member takes care of them.


The number one question I am asked is...

Are you going to go to school to be a veterinarian like your Mom? The answer is always NO. My mom is a veterinarian for cats and dogs. She attended Auburn University for her undergraduate degree as well as for Vet school. She studied at Auburn for a total of eight years! I am from a small town, and when I decided to attend Auburn University, some saw this as me "following in her footsteps" to become a vet but this cannot be farther from the truth! I have witnessed what a veterinarian's life is like behind the scenes firsthand and while I love animals, my love for them does not mean that I want to be a vet.

Happy "tails"

There are many joys that come with constantly being surrounded by animals. When I was little I would ask to see the cats and dogs at the clinic and even convinced my mom to let me bring home a stray cat or dog (on many different occasions). This is why I have always grown up having many pets! I have to admit that I still feel the need to bring home animals that do not have a home, and I always seem to find the stray cats, or as I tell my mom "the cats find me"! Now my mom still shares pictures of animals with me and tells me about patients that have made miraculous recoveries. These stories are always my favorite to hear.

Behind the scenes

While there are many joys to growing up around animals I also know that not all stories have a happy ending. There were many times that my Mom would get to work to find a box full of kittens or puppies that had been left on the front doorstep. This was always disheartening because it made me think about what kind of person would do this to sweet little kittens or puppies. Aging and sick animals were always hard to see because they are a member of peoples' families.

Dedication to patients

I see how hard my mom works to provide the best care for her patients. I remember all of the sick animals that she brought home so she could monitor them overnight to make sure they were okay. Emergency visits and surgeries are very common. If I am with her and she gets an emergency call I will go with her to the clinic, and I even get attached to the animals and always ask how they are doing. My mom genuinely cares for the well-being of her patients!

Pets are forever friends and family members that steal our hearts and dwell in our hearts forever!

Related Content

Facebook Comments