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Trophy monkeys?

For the first time ever, IPPL was recently able to obtain data on (of all things) primate trophy hunting! Yes, it still happens. As IPPL Executive Director Shirley McGreal says, “We are more familiar with U.S. trophy hunters going to Africa to shoot elephants, lions, and antelopes. But quite a few add monkeys to their…

How “problem monkeys” start: The macaques of Morocco’s mountains

After witnessing the pitiful abuse of captive Barbary macaques in Marrakech last month, it was a relief to seek out the wild cousins of these monkeys in the Middle Atlas mountains of central Morocco. That’s what Keri Cairns, our roving representative zoologist, told us in his latest e-mail report. The Moroccan Primate Conservation Foundation, which…

Sweet CeCe’s Charity Challenge to benefit IPPL

Here’s a sweet deal for local (Charleston, SC) IPPL supporters: a Charity Challenge! Download our donation certificate, present it at Sweet Cece’s frozen yogurt shop at 99 South Market Street this Saturday (February 16, 11 AM – 9 PM), and IPPL will get 20% of the proceeds!  Like our gibbons, you’ll say “Yummmmmm!”  

IPPL’s newest lovebirds: Tong and Gibby!

Tong just received the most adorable valentine from Katherine, one of Tong’s most recent adopters. It opens to reveal a lovely message. And this week it so happens that we have very exciting (and seasonally appropriate) news about Tong: she’s no longer single! She and Gibby were placed together this past Tuesday, and they are…

Barbary macaques, Africa’s own snow monkeys

When you see pictures of monkeys frolicking in the snow, you’re usually looking at photos of Japanese macaques. The species is famous for taking a break from the winter’s cold by basking in natural hot springs. Now Keri Cairns, IPPL’s roving representative zoologist, introduces us to Africa’s version of the snow monkey. Barbary macaques, too,…

Advice for travelers to Marrakech

IPPL’s favorite investigative zoologist and photojournalist Keri Cairns is in Morocco this month, and he is bringing us on-the-ground reports about that country’s native Barbary macaques. And this important advice:    “If you do visit Marrakech, please don’t pose for a photo with the monkeys. It’s one of the many problems they face that is helping…


U.S. primate import statistics for 2012

Last fall, we got a surprise package. Actually seven of them. They were boxes of papers that were the result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that IPPL CEO Shirley McGreal had submitted… four years earlier. Shirley had wanted to know more precise figures about primate imports into the U.S. So she tried…

Courtney’s birthday

Courtney—the youngest gibbon at our sanctuary—turns 11 years old today! But since I can’t interview Courtney herself on this fine occasion (she would just keep trying to steal my pen), I thought I’d check in with one of her favorite people—Barbara Allison, IPPL’s long-time office manager, who first came to IPPL in 1998, four years…

Remembering Beanie and Bullet

On December 30 I received a welcome visit from long-time IPPL supporters Tim and Christi Doyle from California. I had met Tim at the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage in Zambia years ago. They had visited IPPL once before—way back in 1999. Tim and Christi were amazed at the changes. Since their last visit we have more…


Faux snow balls for our gibbons

This year, it looks like we’ll be without a White Christmas at our South Carolina sanctuary again (big surprise). But our administrative assistant, Tina McCoy, wanted to present our gibbons with “faux snow balls” (really, ice balls) as enrichment during our current mild mid-winter stretch. She got the idea online. She saw that you could…

Our gibbon gals: Large and in charge!

Walking back toward the office earlier today, I saw one of our gibbons, Robbie, sitting at the end of an aerial runway, enjoying the winter sunshine. A moment later, along came his mate Dianne. She got to within about six inches of him when he suddenly stood up, climbed past her, and sat down again…

Remembering the arrival of the Maui Three

Happy Birthday, Maui! Maui Gibbon was born on December 8, 1990, at the Maui Zoo. His parents were named Jade and “Boy.” Jade had reached the Maui Zoo from the Honolulu Zoo, and “Boy” had been a family pet of Sam Pryor, a retired Pan Am pilot. Unfortunately, the Maui Zoo kept its gibbons in…

Make Giving Tuesday “Gibbon Tuesday”!

Last Thursday, many Americans had their fill of turkey (or Tofurky) as we sat around the table and shared the many things we are thankful for. The IPPL gibbons also enjoyed their version of the holiday with a variety of seasonal treats. Thanksgiving remains one of the few of our holidays not burdened by over-commercialization.…

Slow lorises on TV

When a “ticklish” slow loris took YouTube by storm a few years back, it was a disaster for the species. By promoting the idea that these “cute” little nocturnal primates make great pets, the video certainly fueled the illegal trade in these animals. Hopefully, a couple of TV shows within the next week will help…

Remembering Dian Fossey’s grave site

Last month I had a wonderful visit from Lori Powell of nearby Seabrook Island and her sister LuAnn Short, who was visiting from Florida. LuAnn was keen to visit IPPL as she knew I had been a friend of her heroine, the famous gorilla expert Dian Fossey. In 2008 LuAnn had even visited Dian’s former…

Free the Animals 2012

“Ask not what primates can do for you, ask what you can do for primates.”   Shirley tweaked a classic line from President Kennedy in her main presentation on the primate trade at an animal rights conference in Saint Louis, Missouri, last weekend.   [field name = “shirleys-saen-presentation-re-trade”]   The “Free the Animals” conference in the…

Austrian visitors spoil our gibbons

Friedrich Wendl is an IPPL supporter and gibbon adopter. He works for the Austrian parliament, but he also has literally decades of experience as a gibbon handler. Last week, he and his very patient friend and old army buddy, Johann Schmidt (who actually calls Omaha home now), came to visit the South Carolina Lowcountry for…

The Arashiyama Japanese macaques: An epic journey

One of the most beloved epic stories in China is known as the “Journey to the West.” It’s the tale of a traveling monk who has, as one of his most resourceful companions, a wily monkey. This week IPPL has been delighted to host as a visitor Dr. Linda Wolfe, a macaque expert and IPPL…