‘Primarily Primates has set an ambitious course’ says GFAS director


The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) is honored to announce that Primarily Primates has achieved GFAS Verification.

“I have enjoyed working with Primarily Primates on the verification process,” states Patty Finch, executive director of GFAS. “It is an important and large sanctuary, housing many of the most difficult to place animals, such as chimpanzees, many species of monkeys, and parrots. No matter what level of detail was requested of the sanctuary, they provided it without complaint. With more than 400 animals, it was quite a task for them.”

The GFAS Verification means Primarily Primates meets the comprehensive and rigorous definition of a true sanctuary and is providing humane and responsible care of the animals, meeting thorough and peer-reviewed standards established by GFAS, which is the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries and rescue centers. The verification status also provides a clear and trusted means for the public, donors worldwide and government agencies to recognize Primarily Primates as an organization that is worthy of support for continued growth and development.

“We are pleased and proud of this landmark recognition of everything we-and each of our supporters-devote to the animals who depend on us,” said Stephen Rene Tello, Executive Director of Primarily Primates. “We thank the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries for their in-depth and rigorous review, ensuring that the public will know they decide wisely when they invest in Primarily Primates’ future.”

“The accreditation committee was impressed that 19 new outdoor, natural substrate large enclosures have been built at Primarily Primates since 2007,” states Finch. “Such development is financially challenging, so we are pleased that Primarily Primates has been able to achieve these improvements, even in this economy, showing their determination to do what is best for the animals. Their detailed plans for future improvements is impressive. They are also on a path to continuous improvements in enrichment, which is always a fun challenge for all sanctuaries, especially when dealing with chimpanzees, monkeys and parrots!”

About Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the sole purpose of strengthening and supporting the work of animal sanctuaries worldwide. The goal of GFAS in working with and assisting sanctuaries is to ensure they are supported, honored, recognized and rewarded for meeting important criteria in providing care to the animals in residence. GFAS was founded in 2007 by animal protection leaders from a number of different organizations in response to virtually unchecked and hidden animal exploitation of animals for human entertainment and financial profit. These founding leaders sit on the GFAS Board of Directors to continue guiding the organization’s work in a collaborative manner. They represent top leadership from Born Free USA, The Humane Society of the United States, World Society for the Protection of Animals, American Anti-Vivisection Society, National Anti-Vivisection Society, and International Fund for Animal Welfare.

About Primarily Primates

Primarily Primates, Inc. is a non-profit sanctuary in Bexar County, Texas that operates to house, and protect undomesticated animals, primarily apes and monkeys, many of whom are cast-offs from the pet trade and biomedical research institutions. Individuals who have been accepted into the refuge include chimpanzees once used in space training and testing protocols by the United States Air Force; and Oliver, a chimpanzee once paraded on television shows as the “humanzee” because of a habit of walking upright. Primarily Primates was founded in 1978. Its staff includes a veterinarian who is a specialist in primate health and surgery as well as highly experienced caregivers. Its current board, structured in 2007, includes a long-time sanctuary facilitator with extensive primate experience, and the president of the animal-advocacy group Friends of Animals.