Getting To Know Them Better

Pongo is a handsome adult male orangutan whose cheek pads (also called flanges) have grown quickly as he has matured. He started his life as an infant at a tourist attraction and was the first ape to be cared for at the sanctuary.

When he was nearly eight years old, Pongo was moved to his permanent sanctuary home in Wauchula where he has met and lived with three other orangutans, Christopher, Mari, and Pebbles. Currently, Pongo lives full-time with Mari. They spend their days traveling through the forest woods in the elevated aerial trailways or hanging around in their four-story tall habitat with large cypress-tree climbing structures. Mari will often groom Pongo with her feet since she has no arms.

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Interesting Facts

  • Pongo has always liked playing in the water and when he was younger, he used to drag one of his big tubs over to his drinking spigot and fill it with water to splash in. As a fully-developed adult male, Pongo has become more subdued in his play behavior. He spends much more time alone watching the goings-on at the sanctuary from inside a large culvert, or from behind a shady tree in the overhead trailways.
  • Pongo can be seen daily, sitting in his culvert in front of his fan, hands raised high in the air letting the wind blow through his long, beautiful hair. But if he spots someone watching him, he lowers his hands and turns away in shyness.


It costs $22,000 a year to care for one of our apes. By symbolically adopting the ape of your choice for a one-time donation of $300 OR just $25 a month for one year, you are helping ensure the health, safety, and well-being of your orangutan or chimpanzee.

Can't Adopt?

In addition to cash donations, the Center for Great Apes is always in need of food, enrichment items, and supplies. We welcome gifts of all kinds.


Want to know what we need? We have a list of things we would like to have.

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