About Our Facility

Q: What is Pacific Primate Sanctuary?

A: Pacific Primate Sanctuary, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of threatened, endangered, or distressed primates.

Q: When was the Sanctuary established, and who is involved in the work?

A: The Sanctuary was established in 1984. In 1993, we became a federally authorized nonprofit wildlife refuge under 501 (C) (3) regulations for publicly supported corporations. The Sanctuary's founder and president, Lucy Wormser, as well as a group of trained volunteers operate and maintain the facility. Businesses and tradespeople also support our work with contributions of goods and services.

Q: What are Pacific Primate Sanctuary's goals?

A: At Pacific Primate Sanctuary we provide a refuge where threatened and abused animals from research laboratories and the exotic pet trade can finally live in peace and safety. Our mission is to protect and serve their species and educate our young people.

Q: Why is there a need for a monkey refuge?

A: According to the National Academy of Sciences, it is estimated that over 100 acres of the monkeys' Amazon Jungle habitat are being destroyed every minute. Surplus laboratory animals and those confiscated from the illegal pet trade are also in need of help. The monkeys are running out of places to go.

Q: What kind of research are you doing?

A: Pacific Primate Sanctuary is a wildlife conservation organization. Our areas of interest include: Primate behavior, ecology, reproduction, conservation, husbandry/management, zoological horticulture, and environmental enrichment. We are learning how to save primate species and become better human beings.

Q: Are you federally funded?

A: We are federally authorized, but unfortunately, we receive no funds from the federal, state, or county governments. We are supported solely by public donations and rely upon tax-deductible contributions from the public to cover the daily expenses of caring for the monkeys.

Q: Why start a refuge here on Maui?

A: The Sanctuary is located in a rain forest region on the north shore of Maui, the only place in America where the climate is similar to the monkeys' native jungles in South and Central America. Here they can be out of doors all year round and live among plants related to those in their native forests.

About the Monkeys

Q: Where do the monkeys at Pacific Primate Sanctuary come from?

A: The monkeys at the Sanctuary come to us from several different sources: zoos, research laboratories, organizations, federal agencies, and private individuals. Some are also born here.

Q: Do they have contagious diseases?

A: No. The State of Hawaii requires that any and all imported, non-domestic animals need to be examined by a veterinarian, who will then issue a health certificate certifying that the animal is free of all contagious diseases and parasites.

Q: How are the monkeys rehabilitated?

A: Some of the primates in our care have been the victims of trauma and abuse. We provide the necessary nutritional, psychological, and emotional nurturing to facilitate their recovery and restoration to health.

Q: Is the facility open to the public?

A: No, the Sanctuary is not open for public visitation. Please see our Non Visitation Policy for details.

Q: Are they your pets?

A: It doesn’t serve our rehabilitative and conservation objectives (or the monkeys’ needs) to domesticate them.

Q: Where are the monkeys kept?

A: The monkeys at Pacific Primate Sanctuary are housed socially (with others of their own kind) in naturalistic habitats on privately owned property.

Q: Can I "have" a pet baby monkey?

A: Exotic animals do not make good pets. The majority of primate species are now listed as endangered or threatened. We believe only authorized conservation facilities should be permitted to house and care for them.