WAUCHULA, FL. — The Center for Great Apes animal sanctuary today announced the receipt of one of its largest donations in history, given by the Big Ass Fan Company. Valued at over $16,000, the donation of 11 overhead and vertical Big Ass Fans will replace malfunctioning and broken fans throughout the complex, helping address the Center’s struggle to keep its residents cool in the Florida heat.
“We are so grateful to Big Ass Fans for their incredible donation to help keep our orangutan and chimpanzee residents cool and comfortable during our hot Florida summers,” said Patti Ragan, founding director of the Center for Great Apes.
The sanctuary is home to 45 orangutans and chimpanzees who have been rescued or retired from the entertainment industry, research laboratories or the exotic pet trade. Famous residents include Michael Jackson’s former pet chimpanzee, Bubbles, and Tango, an orangutan made famous in Tang and Budweiser commercials and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Native to tropical rainforests, orangutans and chimpanzees are accustomed to shady environments; the donated fans are critical to their safety and health as they cope with the Florida heat and humidity.
“ The orangutans and chimpanzees are always sitting directly in front of the fans. The quality of the Big Ass Fans is unbelievable.
Big Ass Fans engineers the world’s most efficient fans for residential, commercial and industrial settings and has a long history of charitable giving in the local, national and international community.
“We are proud that a portion of our proceeds can support worthy causes, from our local Firefighters’ Toy Drive to our fan donations to third-world hospitals,” said Chief Big Ass Carey Smith, founder of Big Ass Fans. “The Center for Great Apes is a unique organization, and we’re glad our fans can provide a lasting solution to their heat and humidity problems.”
The $16,000 donation includes Yellow Jacket® fans, which are positioned along the Center’s elevated tunnel and chute system, and smaller fans that are installed in the sanctuary’s night houses.
Additionally, Haiku® ceiling fans keep staff and volunteers comfortable in the sanctuary’s classroom, where they undergo training and organize donations, and the feed room, where they prepare the apes’ meals. Haiku is ENERGY STAR® certified and hand-balanced to ensure it will never rattle or wobble; it features 7 speeds and operates silently.
The Center for Great Apes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to provide a permanent sanctuary for orangutans and chimpanzees who have been rescued or retired from the entertainment industry, from research or who are no longer wanted as pets. Founded in 1993, the Center provides care in a safe, healthy and enriching environment for great apes in need of lifetime care. The 120-acre sanctuary, which receives no government funding, is not open to the public and relies on individual donors.