Getting To Know Them Better

Born in a zoo, Radcliffe is a hybrid cross between Bornean and Sumatran orangutans. Because he wasn’t either pure Bornean or pure Sumatran, he was sold in the early 1980s to a circus trainer. Radcliffe was worked in television shows and various small traveling circuses for a number of years until he became too large and too strong to handle. After an aggressive confrontation with Radcliffe, the trainer sold him to a small amusement park in New York, and shortly after that, he was sent to a roadside attraction in Florida where he lived for ten years in a tiny chain-link cage.

When the Florida attraction was closed down, the Center for Great Apes brought Radcliffe (along with the chimpanzee Roger) to the sanctuary to live out the rest of his life in dignity. Radcliffe now enjoys the climbing structures in his 40-foot tall habitat and loves to roam through the woods in the aerial trailways to visit other orangutans at the sanctuary.

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Interesting Facts

  • Radcliffe makes his nests out of enrichment boxes, tubs, and various toys. Most nights he likes to sleep under “tents” he creates with his blankets by weaving the corners into places above him. He particularly likes rags and bubbles in his water tubs so he can “wash” his toys, shelves, and walls of the nighthouse. On hot days, Radcliffe likes to push objects into his drinking fountain so he has a continuous stream of water to play in!
  • Even though Radcliffe is an adult male orangutan, his facial cheekpads never developed because he was castrated as a juvenile in the circus. Today he looks like an extremely large juvenile orangutan, even though he is the oldest male orangutan at the sanctuary.  Radcliffe is the tallest of all our orangutans, with hands that are 14 inches long!


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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