As we’ve planned and prepared for our annual Spring Member Day, we have also paid attention to the news of the global (and now, national) health crisis. And, as we’ve watched the unfolding news of the COVID-19 spread in the U.S. and Florida, we have been discussing (and struggling with) the question of whether or not we should proceed with our March 28th event. Many factors have been considered with the pros and cons seriously weighed. We do not want to react unnecessarily to media panic…but we also exist as a sanctuary in order to protect our great apes, and we want to be wise in taking action to do so.
There is so much unknown at this point… and additionally for us, in how it would affect other primates, specifically great apes.
So, after discussing with our board members, our veterinarian, and other medical professionals, we have decided to cancel the member event on March 28th.
Since the Spring Member Day is our biggest fundraiser of the year with the silent auction, gift shop, raffle, and invited guests, this cancellation will be a significant financial loss for the sanctuary as well as disappointing to our members who are looking forward to the visit.
But I hope you will understand that our most important priority is the health and safety of our great ape sanctuary residents and agree that this is the right thing to do to protect our apes as well as our staff, volunteers, and members.
We will keep in touch with other opportunities to visit as the situation changes… and certainly, we look forward to seeing you at the next member open house.
With gratitude for your understanding and your wonderful support of our mission to help captive great apes,