WAUCHULA, Fla. (Aug. 28, 2013) — The Center for Great Apes animal sanctuary on Wednesday announced the receipt of one of its largest donations in history, given by the Big Ass Fan Co. of Lexington. Valued at more than $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,” said Ragan.
The donation includes Yellow Jacket fans, which are positioned along the center’s elevated tunnel and chute system, and Sweat Bee fans, which 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.