Another exciting outing when my family was here visiting was going to the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary. My mom and I love monkeys, and it made it even more exciting that it is a rescue. The Sanctuary has been around for 50 years and is totally run by volunteers and donations. They house over 100 animals, mostly primates but also birds, lizards, goats, reptiles and more. The animals, like I said are all rescues, some from laboratories where they were experimented on (a large amount were given diabetes and then tested on), retired from the film industry, pets that the owners could no longer take care of, or retired from the circus.
We took some fruit for donation and had a good chat with the volunteer working at the front desk when we walked in. She told us about this little sweetie that was a badly abused pet that had recently been rescued. She is the tiniest, cutest little thing, how anyone could hurt her is beyond me. She recently had a hernia surgery and was getting some special attention until she is all healed up.
Like I said, they have animals other than primates. these turtles are quite common in this area and these are ones that have been injured or are unable to be returned to the wild.
The sanctuary has a ton of tropical birds. Beautiful parrots (some who can talk) and many other gorgeous birds that were mostly turned in from people who couldn't look after them anymore.
I fell in love with this tortoise. I could tell he was used to getting treats and followed me around until I stopped and petted him through the fence, then he kept following me until I would stop and love him some more. I figure he would love our back yard with all the sun and the pool. I think he wanted to come home with me.
Cute little gator!
This is Pongo the Orangutan. He was a personal pet, and obviously, he got too big to be looked after by a person that did not know how to properly care for him. He is the sweetest guy and likes to roll barrels around ask for treats. We were lucky enough to have an 8 year volunteer walking around with us. The Primates love her and we got to meet a lot of them closer up because of her. So fun!
The goats, as usual are quite the characters. Spot is in the back.
Duck and Canada Goose.
Capuchins CoCo and Jeremy.
The following cuties are some of the guys that were given diabetes so that they could be tested on. They were handed over the the sanctuary and live very normal lives thanks to volunteers eve though they require a lot of care!
Alfie seemed to love playing with and cleaning his feet.
A cage of Ring Tailed Lemurs, so cute! I love these guys! They have the most inquisitive eyes.
Scotty is a 23 year old Baboon that really likes to show off. He is one of the newest residents to the sanctuary. He has the most beautiful hair I have ever seen.
This little girl was obsessed with her baby snake, she let us know everything about him and carried him around the whole time we were there. I love when I see children that have appreciation for nature and animals even if they aren't cute and cuddly.
Another Gator, Mary, this gal is a little bit bigger!
Valentino is a little Gibbon that loves to sing. There are more gibbons here as well.
There are a few other Orangutans. The one swinging in the back is Jewel, she is 47 years old! There are also Maggie, Magillan and Julie.
There are several amazingly smart Chimps at the rescue. The oldest, Sheila is 67! Shawn and Lucy are pictured here and are just beautiful. The chimps also do some amazing artwork that you can check out here.
You could tell this guy is a rescue from film or a circus. He was dancing like crazy for us and then got all bashful when we cheered and clapped. Pretty much the cutest thing ever.
This poor bearded dragon was found roaming around in a yard. It is obvious that he is a pet because he loves people and was not finding food himself. He is very picky, and when we visited they were still trying to figure out what foods he likes. No one has come forward to claim him, which is sad because he is beautiful and very friendly.
This is seriously an amazing place, ran by some insanely dedicated and loving people. If you would like to visit or make a much needed donation visit their website Suncoast Primate Sanctuary.