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Happy, healthy Halloween!

The IPPL gibbons have been enjoying some pretty nifty Halloween treats this season, thanks to our creative animal care staff. We shy away from offering our gibbons sugary snacks that are only good for promoting cavities and diabetes and instead go for healthy treats. But, as we like to say around here, sometimes it’s all…

How you can tell you’re in love with baboons

Joselyn Mormile knew she was in love with baboons the day she went into town to do some shopping in the South African province of Limpopo. She had been working at the C.A.R.E. baboon rescue and rehabilitation center, located near the Kruger National Park. C.A.R.E. is somewhat remote, and volunteers and workers don’t usually leave…

Farewell to Igor

The spirit of our dear Igor left this world on October 13, 2014. He was well into his 50s and had apparently suffered from a stroke or similar health crisis on October 10 that left him paralyzed on his right side. Our wonderful long-time vet Dr. Ohlandt gave him a prednisone injection the following day…

Igor singing.

Farewell Igor

Igor was born in the wild, but spent 26 years in two research facilities. In 1987, he was allowed to “retire” to IPPL, but he came with mental issues.  During his years in research he became a self-mutilator, hurting himself whenever he saw another gibbon. As a result, he was forced to live isolated behind…

The secret lives of the IPPL gibbons

During our Supporters’ Meeting this past April, IPPL’s Animal Care team members shared some candid videos they had taken of our gibbons. As you might imagine, they have seen many unusual behaviors that the casual visitor is unlikely to witness.   So, may I present the IPPL gibbons, as you’ve never seen them before…. Blackie…

Sanctuary chimps in the Ebola zone say “Thank you!”

Here’s what we heard yesterday from Bala Amarasekaran, the Founder and Director of the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone: Dear Shirley, We cannot thank you enough. Indeed a blessing, your kindness and support has always been there for Tacugama. Situation is pretty bad. Rather late, but much needed help is beginning to arrive. Hope…

Gibbons charm the Mount Pleasant Garden Club

Yesterday, IPPL’s sanctuary hosted the Mount Pleasant Garden Club, which makes monthly visits to notable locations around the Lowcountry that might interest their members. But I don’t think any of them had ever been on a garden tour that featured gibbons! Our Executive Director, Shirley McGreal, is a British citizen and has a true English…

Meet our girl Molly!

For several years, Molly Jorges has worked at the C.A.R.E. baboon rehabilitation center in Phalaborwa, South Africa. C.A.R.E. was founded by the late Rita Miljo in 1989. Rita and three other baboons (including Bobby, her first rescue) tragically died in a fire at the sanctuary during the night of July 27, 2012. Working for baboons…

Hollywood comes to IPPL

Over the weekend we were delighted to welcome not one, but two bona fide Hollywood actors to the IPPL sanctuary. Actress and animal activist Elaine Hendrix arrived yesterday with her boyfriend and fellow-actor Salvator Xuereb, as well as his young daughter Anouk and son Finnley, as the four of them were in the midst of…

Ebola threatens chimp sanctuary

Humans are not the only ones at risk from Ebola: chimps and gorillas are also susceptible to the deadly virus, which is currently wreaking havoc in West Africa. It’s turning out to be the worst outbreak of this virus in history.   That’s why we are so worried about our friends at the Tacugama Chimpanzee…

WikiLeaks confirms IPPL’s role in India’s monkey export ban

An IPPL member recently drew my attention to information about primates on WikiLeaks. In searching the files, I found mainly State Department cables about U.S. primate procurement efforts. Interestingly, I came across this cable dated December 2, 1977, showing that the State Department blamed IPPL for India’s historic ban on the export of its native…

Blue and Tong

Blue and Tong

When Blue was a young puppy he met Tong, the last of the gibbons that Shirley brought back from Thailand. They formed a special bond that is obvious in this adorable video. Both are now deceased, but we wanted to keep the memories of these unique, playful friends.

Shirley speaking at AR2014 on YouTube-cropped

Welcome to the 2014 Animal Rights National Conference

Every year, the Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) holds a conference. The program is not limited to issues directly impacting farm animals, however, but also includes discussions of experimentation, the civil rights of activists, and many other topics. IPPL has been a sponsor of this important conference for a number of years and once again…


At the Animal Rights National Conference 2014

Each year since 2009, IPPL has been represented at the Animal Rights National Conference, which has been organized in various formats since the 1980s by the Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), led by Dr. Alex Hershaft. The conference currently alternates between Los Angeles and Washington, DC. This year’s conference was held in Los Angeles. IPPL…

Gus’s birthday pops

OK, I confess: we don’t know Gus’s actual birth date. He was a former pet, and we never received his full records when he arrived at our sanctuary. But that’s no reason not to celebrate his “honorary” birthday, which we did last month with a popsicle party.   Our Administrative Assistant Tina gladly recruited her…

Maui with soccer ball

World Cup Gibbon Training Camp 2014

Our gibbons have World Cup potential, no question. Whoop-Whoop already shows great kicking abilities. We’re just going to have to cure him of his tendency to bite the ball: Whoop-Whoop—even more so than Luis Suarez—has some very impressive canines! And watch Maui score his first goal! With just a little more energy, we think he…

It’s National Eat Your Vegetables Day!

Along the highways leading into Charleston we’ve seen billboards the last couple of months that ask us if we can name 20 vegetables in the next two miles. Our gibbons would have no trouble with this (apart from that language-barrier thing…). Can you name 20 veggies in, say, the next two minutes? As our senior…

Ape experts at our sanctuary

Say hello to Carol Fleming and her partner Keith Lloyd, two primate pros from the UK who have been spending a few days at the IPPL sanctuary!   When I first started chatting with them, they claimed that they had led very boring lives. I’m sorry to tell you: they were lying. Carol started working…