Wauchula, in the center of the state of Florida (USA) and has 5 thousand population. A remote place that houses one of the most important homes of great apes in the United States.
About a hundred orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos and other apes rescued from the entertainment industry, laboratories, zoos, shops and private homes, including ‘Bubbles’, Michael Jackson’s pet, have found the good life in a place in Central Florida.
Founded in 1993, the Wauchula Great Ape Center is a 120-acre (486,000-square-meter) jungle complex where different species of great apes coexist.
An altruistic task that does not favor, at all, the photos that circulate on social networks and the internet of celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Khloe Kardashian or the footballer James Rodriguez kissing, for example, babies of primates.
The scene is less innocent than it seems, however tender it may look. In fact, it hurts. It hurts because it undermines the efforts of international organizations trying to end the illegal trafficking of apes and their use as a claim in zoos and films.
Associations such as the Center for Great Apes vindicate the ‘dignity of primates and their right to live in their natural habitat’, explained to Efe Patti Ragan, who, once the foundation was created, took four years to find and acquire the land where this great ape home is located today.
‘We have rescued apes from garages, storerooms, circuses and zoos and even from basements of homes, many of them in poor health, fed pizza and candy instead of fresh vegetables,’ Ragan said.