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“A sad depressing place - I just wanted to set those primates free.”

Suncoast Primate Sanctuary Foundation, Inc.
Ranked #5 of 22 things to do in Palm Harbor
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Owner description: The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization home to over 70 animals including Chimpanzees, Orangutans, Monkeys, Reptiles, Tropical Birds, and more! Whether coming to the Sanctuary after being a personal pet or retiring from the laboratory and film industries, the Sanctuary is here to provide these magnificent animals with a safe haven to spend out the rest of theirlives in peace and with dignity.One person can make a difference in an animal, child, or senior's life!
Reviewed 6 April 2018

There were some great primates to see, but that was not enough for me to give this place more than one star. This place is far from what you'd envision as a "sanctuary." This place was just plain sad. The cages were small and everything seemed run down. The primates looked sad. One threw a handful of sloppy poo 15-20 feet through a fence at some visitors and it got all over one lady. Another big one spit through the fence at visitors. They clearly are not happy there. I just wanted to set them all free. We also bought two bags of "monkey food" to fee the monkeys. We opened the bag to find cat food, cheetohs, cheesy popcorn, and a few pretzels. It's no wonder they didn't want to eat it. This isn't exactly the type of food they'd eat in the wild. Kudos to the volunteers that make it seem like it's the best place ever because I left that place feeling depressed instead of in awe.

Thank Stacy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SPSFI, Public Relations Manager at Suncoast Primate Sanctuary Foundation, Inc., responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2018

Stacy,

We’re sorry to hear that you had a poor experience. The Sanctuary is a non-profit volunteer-run organization that relies on donations and small grants. We receive no local, state, of federal funding. While we would love to offer larger habitats, similar to what you would see at a large profitable zoo, that is not realistic at this time. Many of our residents come laboratory research, the film industry, and private pet ownership. These magnificent animals would not be taken in by a zoo and would normally face euthanasia. We are here to provide them a final home to live out the remainder of their life in peace and with dignity. All of our enclosures meet and exceed the minimum requirements set by FWC and the USDA. While we do not encourage certain behaviors our residents perform (ex: throwing feces), it is important to remember that they are at their core, wild animals and still have their wild instincts. As for the snack, you are correct when you say “this isn’t exactly the type of food they’d eat in the wild”. These are just snacks between their main diets of fruits and vegetables. Similar how you would give a dog a dog biscuit for a snack, but not feed it to them as a core meal. The cat food has mixes of proteins, vitamins, and nutrients that are beneficial to our primates. Again, this is just for a snack, not a main meal. We encourage you to reach out to us directly at SPSFI@aol.com if you have further concerns.

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"non profit"
in 9 reviews
"run by volunteers"
in 7 reviews
"their lives"
in 7 reviews
"love animals"
in 5 reviews
"bought a groupon"
in 5 reviews
"well taken care"
in 8 reviews
"per adult"
in 4 reviews
"rescued animals"
in 4 reviews
"hold a baby alligator"
in 4 reviews
"beautiful animals"
in 3 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 4 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 5 reviews
"tarpon springs"
in 3 reviews
"monkeys"
in 73 reviews
"donation"
in 37 reviews
"gonzo"
in 23 reviews
"enclosures"
in 13 reviews
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13 - 17 of 258 reviews

Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

Loved this place since I was a kid and still love it now! There's now a gentleman there, The Gator Crusader, who puts on a quick show on how he LITERALLY trains alligators! Bobby (one of the primates) interacts when asked "are you hungry" .. SO cute and Pongo, the infamous orangutan is just one hell of a site to see! It's worth the visit!

Thank Kristyn J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2018

These animals responded to basic interaction of speech and posturing. The afternoon spent supporting the animals was well worth the time and minimal expense. Please, support this effort and spend an hour or two witnessing the beauty of rescue.

Thank wattssemc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2018

This is not a zoo. The primates,reptiles and birds here are rescued. The staff seem to be loving and the grounds are clean if not up to date and bright. We showed up on a clean up day when it was closed. Understanding that we were n a time schedule we were invited in. We had an amazing time. The staff were very accommodating and informative. Rescue places such as these rely on entrance fees so don’t expect to much in the way of food or entertainment beyond the wonderful animals that are in residence.
I highly recommend a visit, especially to visit Pongo he is very engaging. Happy Birthday Pongo! I highly recommend this for anyone.

Thank Janice D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 March 2018

First let me start off by saying that I found this place by searching things to do in my area on Groupon. This sanctuary came up with a good deal. I bought the groupon and decided to take my grandma and myself there one weekend. I wasn't really sure what to expect, and did not do research on it before I came. With that being said, before you go, you want to set yourself up to have realistic expectations. This is a sanctuary NOT a zoo. What that means is that it is a safe haven for animals in need of a safe place to live. The sanctuary is not where you go if you want a typical zoo experience. It is a little outdated and more renovations are needed; however, this facility is more for the animals than for people who want to come and see them. It's a place for them to grow old. The Sanctuary is run strictly on donations. The people who work there are all volunteers. That means all the money you pay to get in goes to the animals. The animals come from different backgrounds including private pets, laboratory animals, entertainment animals, and so on.

I do not recommend this to families with children who want a zoo experience. I also do not recommend this place for anyone who wants to do something for more than an hour. It is a small sanctuary that can be walked through within an hours time if that. I do not recommend people to see this place if you get sad easily by seeing older animals or unusual living areas.

However, I do recommend you come see this if you want your money to go towards helping these animals. If you hate crowds and want to meet some interesting characters, this may be the place for you. If you want to spend $10 or less to get in, this may also be the place for you.

So do your research. Understand what this place is and then decide if it's right for you and your family to visit.

Thank phillygem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SPSFI, Public Relations Manager at Suncoast Primate Sanctuary Foundation, Inc., responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2018

Hi Phillygem! Thank you for taking the time to visit the Sanctuary. We appreciate you understanding and explaining that we are a non-profit, volunteer-run, organization for aging animals (primarily primates). We are not a Zoo and have never advertise the Sanctuary as being a zoo. Our primary goal is our residents first, then guests. We opened to the public after many years closed for two primary reasons. First, being a non-profit, funds to keep the Sanctuary operational were tight. Second, public educations has been a mission of the Sanctuary’s board for a long time. Without educating the public, how do you make change? With that said, please consider changing your rating based on who we are, not who we are not. Giving us a low star rating because we are not a Zoo is comparable to giving a toy store a low star rating because they didn’t sell pizza. As a small non-profit, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google, Etc rating websites is a key part in making income for our residents. Low ratings hurt :(

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