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Welcome, Spanky!

Today we accepted a new gibbon at the IPPL sanctuary!       Spanky is an eight-year-old male, born October 18, 2005. He’s a white-handed gibbon from Texas who was given to his former “owner” as a gift when he was only eight months old. However, in March his owner contacted us, saying that she…

20120911_hainangibbon-(c) Jessica Bryant

The world’s rarest primate

Did you know that the world’s rarest primate is actually a gibbon? The Hainan gibbon (Nomascus hainanus) is critically endangered. In fact, this ape is found only in the Bawangling Nature Reserve on Hainan Island, China, located in the South China Sea. There are fewer than 30 individuals left alive.   This may not be…

Shirley’s birthday bash

Late Tuesday night Shirley arrived back at the office from her most recent travels, so the IPPL staff celebrated yesterday with a little late (only three days’ worth of belated…) birthday party!               Did you forget to wish Shirley a happy birthday? Wish her a belated bodacious b-day on…

Our primate conservation conference 2014, in pictures

This past weekend, we held our 13th biennial Supporters’ Meeting on the grounds of the IPPL sanctuary. We hosted primate field workers from Africa, Asia, and the Americas, all from projects that IPPL has helped to support—sometimes for years!   Attendees were able to interact one-on-one with our visiting speakers, enjoy the spring sunshine, and…

A tribute to Cyril Rosen

The late Cyril Rosen MBE was the man behind IPPL (UK), which flourished well over three decades from the time he established the British branch of IPPL in 1976. He passed away on December 21, 2013, at the age of 86.   Photo of Cyril in Basel, © Howard Rosen   According to his obituary…

Happy 80th Birthday to Dr. Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane turns 80 today—but she sent US a present! She recently recorded these special greetings just for IPPL:   [field name=”jane-goodall-message”]   Many thanks to Dr. Jane for her decades of hard work on behalf of chimpanzees and all primates—and a very happy birthday from everyone at IPPL.  

An invitation to our 2014 meeting

We’re looking forward to our upcoming biennial Supporters’ Meeting. And today Shirley sends you this invitation:   [field name=”Shirley-invitation-2014″]   Join us April 11-13 at IPPL’s South Carolina gibbon sanctuary. Contact Shirley directly ( for more information.

Spring cleaning squared

Tidying up the sanctuary grounds after the winter’s wind and rain is always a bit of a chore, but this year Mother Nature dealt us a double-whammy. Dual ice storms first weakened and then struck down tree limbs left and right, smashing everything in their path: buildings, fences, and our reliable old Ranger pickup—but fortunately…

A lip-smacking good time with Gus

Every day we feed our gibbons a variety of mixed veggies for breakfast. Lately, the menu has included peppers, beets, cauliflower, carrots, beans, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, and herbs like cilantro. Lunch is a changing assortment of fresh fruit, which for the past week has included apples, oranges, kiwi, papaya, cantaloupe, pineapple, and a few mangoes.…

Primate enrichment at WAR

Wildlife At Risk (WAR) is a nonprofit in Vietnam that is dedicated to the conservation of that country’s biodiversity and combating the illegal wildlife trade. They care for about 60 primates at two wildlife rescue centers (one in Ho Chi Minh City and one in Kien Giang province). They have even managed to release some…

Five fun facts about Erin on her birthday!

Erin turns 29 today! I’ll bet you didn’t know…. 1. Erin is a ninja. The story is that once when she was being darted for capture at a facility where she lived previously, she actually caught the dart in mid-air! (Sorry, no photo of that incident; you’ll have to take our word for it.)    …

A second ice storm devastates the sanctuary

On Wednesday, February 12, 2014, the second ice storm in as many weeks hit IPPL’s gibbon sanctuary.       That first storm, it turned out, had weakened numerous tree limbs, especially among our pines. The second onslaught sent huge branches—some weighing hundreds of pounds—crashing down from heights of over 50 feet.     Our…

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Monkey business in Sochi

The eyes of the world are on Sochi, where the Winter Olympics are starting today. But few people know that the Sochi area is home to the world’s first primate research laboratory. It was founded in 1927 under the name “Research Institute of Experimental Pathology and Therapy.” The original lab was established in the town…

Icicles at IPPL

Yesterday the South Carolina Lowcountry endured an ice storm that made our roads treacherous, closed the airport, and shut down schools and government offices throughout the region.   This same system wreaked havoc in many parts of the southeastern U.S., as far away as Texas, Virginia, and Florida. Our governor declared a state of emergency.…

Peppy and the gibbons who got away

Our gibbon Peppy, who celebrated his 35th birthday yesterday, was born at a cancer lab at the University of California at Davis in 1979. The laboratory used gibbons in painful and usually fatal viral cancer experiments.   But Peppy was “The Gibbon Who Got Away.” The virus they gave him didn’t make him sick.  …

U.S. primate import statistics for 2013

After four straight years of decline, the number of primates imported into the U.S. unfortunately increased by 8.5 percent over last year’s figure, according to preliminary data IPPL has been able to obtain from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Last year, according to revised data we received on April 8, 2013, the U.S. imported…

Courtney’s birthday bash

Today Courtney turns 12 years old. In honor of her last pre-teen birthday, our staff constructed a nifty new enrichment device we hoped would engage those devious little brain cells.   The apparatus consists of a series of nesting plastic cups strung together on a vertical PVC pole. Each cup can contain a variety of…

Winter-time indoor fun

When it stays colder than 50 degrees (F) outside, we keep the gibbons nice and warm in their indoor night quarters throughout the day. They don’t always appreciate our consideration for their comfort, however! Many of them (“Maynard, Chloe, Gus, Scrappy, Dianne—and especially Courtney,” says our caregiver Samantha) get cranky at being cooped up. It’s…