Sunday, December 11, 2011


Marion Pellicano Ambrose

With a name like Bam Bam, you know he’s big! Bam Bam is a male orangutan who lives at the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida. He was born on January 3, 1999 in a commercial breeder’s facility in Florida. He was sold to a California trainer and worked in the entertainment industry for several years. He spent 2 years playing the part of an orangutan nurse in the soap opera “Passions”. Once he turned 6, he became too strong to work with people. Retired at 6 and with a life span of 40 – 50 years, the question arose, what will we do with Bam Bam?

Fortunately for him, Bam Bam was sent to the Center for Great Apes, a sanctuary which allows orangutans and chimpanzees to live out their life spans with dignity in a safe and enriching environment. No more side shows, soap operas or medical labs for these residents! Just lots of love, care, and a clean, spacious habitat where they can so what apes do best, be happy.

As an adolescent, Bam Bam loved to wrestle, chase, swing on vines,and cause occasional havoc with his friend Louie, another adolescent orangutan. They loved to follow staff around the property using the tree top tunnel system. They competed for attention with their antics and silliness.

 Bam Bam is now entering his sub adult years. As is natural, he avoids other male territories and prefers the company of females. He especially enjoys spending time with Tango, a female orangutan who formerly starred in Tang commercials. 
Bam Bam is a sweet, gentle giant. He loves to investigate new toys and the enrichment materials given to him. He’s active and very acrobatic. He loves to climb to the highest places in his habitat, but he’s always happy to come down to say hello to visitors.

Bam Bam was recently the subject of a painting by artist Kori Johnsen. With her great talent and unique style, Kori captured Bam Bam’s playfulness and gentle character. The painting will be auctioned off at the annual Members Open House to raise money for the care of these special creatures.
Patti Ragan and painting by Kori Johnsen
 Founder, Patti Ragan makes sure that each resident Ape receives the best care, medical attention, food and enrichment possible. These animals are loved and cherished but most importantly, they are respected and allowed to live the life they were intended to live. Many workers, interns, volunteers and supporters join forces to make the Center a place where miracles happen.

Check out the webpage for the Center for Great Apes and read about the many tragedies turned miracles! Want to give an amazing Christmas gift? Visit the CFGA gift shop to find t-shirts, hoodies, hats,artwork, books and so much more! Donate in someone’s name for a truly unique and treasured gift. For $150 you can receive an adoption certificate with a frame quality photo and biography of your ape. Of course, donations of all sizes are welcome.Donations can be made on line through the website as well.

Merry Christmas from all the Apes at the Center For Great Apes!
Geri loves to open her packages!
Oopsie loves her new blanket!
*As required by Florida law, we are registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, # SC-09272.
100% of your contribution goes directly to the Center for the care of orangutans & chimpanzees as well as the operation of this sanctuary, and none of your donation goes to a professional solicitor.
The Center for Great Apes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and all contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.
Big Boy Pongo loves his treat box of nuts and dried fruits!


  1. They are so beautiful! I'm glad they have such a wonderful retirement home to go to!!!

  2. OMG What a face he has! Ilove him!