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Remembering Project Bangkok Airport

Last week I told you about the collection of primate postage stamps recently donated to IPPL by our late member David Rand of Berkeley, California. That got me thinking about the time when I initially met David, a man who had a passion for primates and travel, as I did. It was when I was…

An amazing primate stamp collection

A treasure trove of stamps—all consisting of primate images—has come to rest at IPPL’s Headquarters in Summerville. IPPL’s longtime supporter David Rand had painstakingly pulled together this unique assemblage. Sadly, David passed away late last year. After his death, David’s brother Laury kindly contacted IPPL to see if would like to have David’s primate stamp…

Primate friends old and new at the animal rights conference!

It was our one chance this year to meet hundreds of animal-friendly people of all ages from across the nation and beyond—all at one convenient venue. This year’s Animal Rights National Conference (AR2013, organized by the Farm Animal Rights Movement) was held again in Washington, DC. Unlike last year, though, no other animal group is…

Hanging out with orangutan advocates

Three orangutan activists stopped in the South Carolina Lowcountry this past Wednesday as part of their world tour on behalf of the great red ape. A small but enthusiastic group of primate supporters braved the late afternoon thunderstorms and flooding in downtown Charleston to “Hang Out for Orangutans.” Our three guest speakers, who collectively have…

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The Silver Springs monkeys

The rural area near Ocala, Florida, was once home to an amazing variety of primate species—some of whom still live there in the wild. The Silver Springs tourist attraction located there once featured a family of gibbons (who came came to live at IPPL just last month), some lemurs, spider monkeys, and troops of macaque…

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Hang out for orangutans!

If you’re going to be in the Charleston area on June 19, I hope you’ll join us for the Hang Out for Orangutans World Tour! We are pleased to host a trio of orangutan experts who will draw on their decades of expertise to give an illustrated lecture on the conservation crisis facing the great…

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Meet the Silver Springs Four!

Yesterday we were thrilled to welcome a new family of gibbons to our sanctuary! Say hello to the Silver Springs Four: Glenda and Gary, their daughter Kendra, and their son Thai. Glenda Glenda is a sweetheart and very people-friendly. Minutes after they arrived yesterday, she was allowing our staff to pet her toes. And twice…

Monkey madness for Mother’s Day?

Let’s hope not it’s not a trend. But a rash of recent ads featuring monkeys makes me worry. When major brands like Sears and Burger King and Kmart use monkeys in their commercials, are they going to be selling the idea that monkeys make cute pets? Maybe that’s what viewers will take away, more so…

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Volunteer spotlight: Laura Vees

When she started volunteering at IPPL, Laura Vees was a biology student at the College of Charleston. But she wanted experience with a wider variety of animals, so her animal behavior professor put her in touch with us. “I already knew I loved animals,” says Laura. “I had worked with dogs and cats, but I…

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Damien, the demon monkey of Main Street

Although Barbary macaques are native to northern Africa, their most famous representatives live on the other side of a little piece of the Mediterranean Sea, on the Rock of Gibraltar. Keri Cairns, who was doing some investigative photojournalism for us earlier this year to check on the status of these monkeys in the wild, felt…


Igor gets a special present

Last week we received an unexpected package addressed to Shirley—and Igor. It turned out to be from one of his admirers, Cynthia, who had visited IPPL this past February. On opening the box, we found a cute little primate-printed pouch, and inside that was a “junior” brush and comb set just for Igor.   She…

Justin Bieber’s monkey fever

As Mally, the teen idol’s pet capuchin monkey, knows by now, pet primates are never a good idea. And when a celebrity decides to make one a pet, it’s even worse. That’s because there’s a knock-on effect. Adoring fans go to great lengths to imitate their favorite stars. That includes trying to accessorize like them,…


An Easter egg hunt for the IPPL gibbons

The Easter Bunny visited the IPPL gibbons this year. He left dozens of brightly colored hard-boiled eggs for our little apes. They were a huge hit! Of course, Mr. Bunny had help from the IPPL animal caregivers. They came along with a wheelbarrow full of hay and over three dozen eggs. Meg distributed armloads of…

The uncertain future of the Barbary macaque

Barbary macaques inhabit a variety of environments in their native Morocco, as our roving zoologist Keri Cairns discovered on his trip there earlier this year. From the squares of Marrakech to the roadsides of the Middle Atlas to the cork forests in the Rif Mountains; from sunny waterfalls to snowy paths. You can tell: these…

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Malaysia’s monkey war: Take action!

Nearly 100,000 free-living long-tailed macaque monkeys have been killed per year in Malaysia, during 2011 and 2012. And the extermination is continuing. This massive “culling” has been conducted by Malaysia’s own Department of Wildlife and National Parks. Please protest this horrifying and inhumane assault on Malaysia’s monkeys! (See below.) A friend of Malaysia’s monkeys confirmed for…

A monkey castle in Morocco

“How do you defend a once-widespread primate in Morocco from further decline?” After seeing the degraded state of the Barbary macaque monkeys living by the roadside near the town of Azrou, this is what our roving zoologist/photojournalist Keri Cairns wanted to know. Maybe build the monkeys a castle?   We had sent Keri on an…

The sad truth about the “Tourist Group” monkeys

We’ve been following the adventures of IPPL’s intrepid zoologist/photojournalist Keri Cairns as he unravels the perils facing Barbary macaques in their native Morocco. When last we heard from him, he was at the Cascades d’Ouzoud, describing how “good monkeys can go bad” if tempted by enough easy human food. But, he suggested, things could get…

Safety first at IPPL

“IPPL’s sanctuary has been located in Summerville since 1977, and we have never had any escapes, as all our housing is double-welded,” says our executive director, Shirley McGreal. “We have had some occasions when we needed to anesthetize a gibbon, but fortunately these have been rare. However, it’s always good to be prepared for any…