Ape Sanctuary In Summerville Damaged By Hurricane Matthew
Start writing a post

Ape Sanctuary In Summerville Damaged By Hurricane Matthew

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

Ape Sanctuary In Summerville Damaged By Hurricane Matthew
International Primate Protection League

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.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

It's More Than Just A Month

Mental Awareness reminds you that it's always darkest before the dawn.

Odyssey recognizes that mental well-being is a huge component of physical wellness. Our mission this month is to bring about awareness & normality to conversations around mental health from our community. Let's recognize the common symptoms and encourage the help needed without judgement or prejudice. Life's a tough journey, we are here for you and want to hear from you.

As the month of May begins, so does Mental Health Awareness Month. Anxiety, depression, bipolar mood disorder, eating disorders, and more affect millions of people in the United States alone every year. Out of those affected, only about one half seek some form of treatment.

Keep Reading... Show less

Pop Culture Needs More Plus Size Protagonists

When almost 70% of American women are a size 14 or bigger, movies like Dumplin' are ridiculously important, while movies like I Feel Pretty just feel ridiculous.


For as long as I can remember, I've been fat. The protagonists in the movies I've watched and the books I've read, however, have not been. . .

Keep Reading... Show less
How I Met My Best Friends In College

Quarantine inspired me to write about my freshman year to keep it positive and focus on all the good things I was able to experience this year! In this article, I will be talking about how I was able to make such amazing friends by simply putting myself out there and trying new things.

Keep Reading... Show less

29 Things To Do in Myrtle Beach, SC Regardless Of The Weather

Both indoors and outdoors things to do in beautiful Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

29 Things To Do in Myrtle Beach, SC Regardless Of The Weather
Dahlia DeHaan

In 2017, I moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - one of the most touristy places on the East Coast. And ever since then, I've befriended locals and done some exploring on my own to discover new, fun things to do in Myrtle Beach. Here are just a few of my favorites.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Birthplace of Basketball

The NBA Playoffs are here. It’s kind of funny that my history kind of started out in the same place that basketball’s did too.


Basketball was originally created by James Naismith, a Presbyterian minister who taught P.E. at YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. He invented the new game to keep the young men occupied inside during the winter. Borrowing ideas from rugby and a game he used to play as a boy, “duck on the rock”, he thought of nailing up boxes to throw a ball into. He couldn’t find boxes so he used peach baskets instead. The rest of the rules he made up in about an hour.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments