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Vision. Mission. Results. “Beanie” photo courtesy Alison Spalter. International Primate Protection League. History. Vision/Mission. IPPL. The Need. Our Programs. History.

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“Beanie” photo courtesy Alison Spalter

International Primate

Protection League





The Need

Our Programs



“We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.”

-William Ralph Inge, Outspoken Essays, 1922

1950s and 1960s before ippl
1950s and 1960s - Before IPPL

Until the Endangered Species Act (1969), there was little legislation or international regulation and oversight.

  • Wild rhesus macaques in India decimated due to medical research.
  • U.S. military experiments on monkeys.
  • Jane Goodall: chimpanzees could make tools.
  • Harry Harlow: infant monkeys went insane without maternal contact.
  • Dian Fossey: studied mountain gorillas in Rwanda.

Important facts about primates were just barely coming to light.

shirley mcgreal ippl
Shirley McGreal & IPPL
  • Moved to Thailand in 1971.
  • Encountered monkeys at Bangkok airport.
  • Two gibbons from neighbors.
  • U.S. military’s gibbon lab to study cholera and heartworms in dogs.
  • Founded International Primate Protection League in 1973.



“As long as there are poachers, animal smugglers, and research laboratories, compassionate people need to work together to make the world a safer place for primates.”

— Shirley McGreal,Founder


…A world where primates live and flourish in their native habitats, untouched by human cruelty, negligence and greed.


To keep primates SAFE by promoting the conservation and protection of all nonhuman primates around the world, including apes, monkeys, and lemurs.


ippl today
IPPL Today
  • 15,000 concerned citizens and donors worldwide.
  • Headquartered in Summerville, South Carolina with UK branch .
  • 31 field representatives in 26 countries.
  • Expert Volunteer Advisory Board.
  • Actively engaged volunteer advocates and workers worldwide.

IPPL efforts have resulted in hundreds of thousands of primate lives being saved.


The question is not, “Can they reason?”

nor, “Can they talk?”

but rather, “Can they suffer?”

-Jeremy Bentham, English Philosopher, 1777

The Need


myths realities
Myths & Realities



It’s a largely unsustainable practice for urban-based luxury markets.

The bushmeat trade is traditional subsistence hunting in countries that have no other options.

Primates are unsuitable as pets and may become dangerous as they mature.

Primates make cute pets.

Technology and improved research techniques are making this unnecessary.

Laboratories need to study primates for beneficial research to humans.

The isolation and maltreatment in labs often results in self-injurious behaviors and death.

Laboratory animals are treated humanely.

Primate/human conflicts are on the rise as humans encroach on primate habitats.

Primates only live in jungles far away from humans.

For every high quality zoo, there are many more zoos providing substandard housing and conditions for all animals.

Zoos are safe havens for wild animals.

the need
The Need…

…For Conservation

  • Primates disappearing at alarming rate.
  • Every primate species is listed on CITES.
  • All apes, all lemurs, and many monkeys on list reserved for the most endangered species.

…For Prevention of Abuse

  • Disappearing at the hands of poachers, smugglers, and in labs.
  • Many countries use primates as research subjects.

No other group works exclusively to protect all primates.

primates at risk
Primates At Risk
  • Smuggling
  • Rainforests are being destroyed
  • Bushmeat trade threatening survival
  • Laboratory experimentation continues
the urgency of our efforts1
The Urgency of Our Efforts

Photo courtesy Alison Spalter


“IPPL faces the particular challenge of the illegal capture and trade in primates. This is a very dangerous business and it takes real courage to collect evidence, track smugglers and bring illegal dealers to justice. I only hope that IPPL will continue to raise the funds needed to keep up, and hopefully to increase, its good work in the future."

— Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Our Programs



Keeping Primates SAFE



Financial Support


ippl our work for safe primates
IPPL: Our Work for SAFE Primates
  • SANCTUARY for Gibbons
  • Staying prepared for incoming gibbons – currently house 29 with capacity for 50.
  • ADVOCACY for All Primates
  • Responding to critical emergencies involving primate abuse, and investigation of allegations of illegal trade.
  • Working for stricter enforcement and better funding for all laws and treaties protecting primates.
  • FINANCIAL SUPPORT for Grassroots Organizations
  • Increasing funding to support overseas primate rescue centers and sanctuaries.
  • EDUCATION for People of All Nations
  • Educating worldwide about the importance of primate protection.
ippl programs sanctuary for gibbons
IPPL Programs – Sanctuary for Gibbons
  • Only gibbon sanctuary in the U.S.
  • Space for up to 50 gibbons
  • Many obtained from research laboratories or defunct zoos
  • Others are discarded pets
ippl programs advocacy

IPPL Field Representatives

work to create and preserve national parks and sanctuaries,

and advocate for bans on primate hunting, trapping, and trade.

IPPL Programs - Advocacy
  • Exposing primate smuggling and abuse through studying import records and infiltration of animal traders.
  • Campaigning, e.g. for the imprisonment of Mathew Block for the international smuggling of six baby orangutans.
  • Monitoring importing countries.

Members also monitor the conditions of zoo

and laboratory primates in their localities.


IPPL Programs – Financial Support

Helping Other Primate Sanctuaries

Highland Farm, Thailand

Limbe Wildlife Center, Cameroon

Lola ya Bonobo, Congo

Tacugama, Sierra Leone

Kalaweit, Borneo

ippl programs education
IPPL Programs - Education
  • IPPL Newsletter
  • On-site educational programs
  • Speaking engagements
  • Biennial members’ meetings

IPPL's educational efforts have led many countries to ban or restrict primate trade and to protect primate habitats.

ippl summary
IPPL - Summary
  • Sanctuary - Summerville, South Carolina
  • Public awareness campaigns
  • Overseas financial assistance
  • Logistical and advisory support
  • Investigate illegal primate trafficking
a day at ippl starts early
A Day At IPPL Starts Early

7:32 a.m. Breakfast Prep

8:02 a.m. Cuddling and Playing

8:31 a.m.

Swinging and Singing

9:06 a.m.

Cleaning House

things heat up mid day
Things Heat Up Mid-Day

9:48 a.m. Upcoming Newsletter

10:46 a.m. Phone Tip – Roadside Zoo

12:17 p.m. Shirley gets an e-mail from Saudi Arabia

afternoon planning advocacy
Afternoon Planning & Advocacy

1:02 p.m.Members’ Meeting logistics

1:30 p.m.

“Special needs” gibbons2:41 p.m.


late afternoon evening still going strong
Late Afternoon & Evening – Still Going Strong

4:19 p.m.

Wire Transfer

5:48 p.m.

Indoor Time

6:07 p.m.

IPPL E-mail Alert


“Whatever would the primates of the world do without you? Love, Dian”

  • Letter from Dian Fossey to Shirley McGreal
  • Oct. 17, 1985



major accomplishments 1970s
Major Accomplishments – 1970s
  • 1974: Exposed Thai smuggling network.
  • 1975: Organized Project Bangkok Airport.
  • 1976: Uncovered and closed “The Singapore Connection.”
  • 1977: Exposed Rhesus monkeys cruelty in India.
  • 1978: IPPL protests Dr. Christian Barnard’s chimpanzee heart transplant.
  • 1979: Protested misuse of Bangladesh monkeys.
major accomplishments 1980s
Major Accomplishments – 1980s
  • 1980-1982: Exposed U.S. military experiments on primates.
  • 1983-1984: Fought import of 7 wild-caught gorillas from Cameroon.
  • 1985: Malaysian ban on monkey exports.
  • 1986- 1987: Raised funds to continue Dian Fossey’s crusade to protect gorillas from poachers.
  • 1988: Shirley McGreal won the prestigious Marchig Award.
  • 1989: IPPL uncovered "The Polish Connection.”
major accomplishments 1990s
Major Accomplishments – 1990s
  • 1990: Smuggling of 6 baby orangutans from Bangkok. Jailing of German gorilla smuggler Walter Sensen.
  • 1992: Matthew Block indicted for smuggling the 6 baby orangutans and later sent to prison. Shirley McGreal was chosen for United Nations Global 500 Honor Roll.
  • 1994: Confiscated 9 chimpanzees in pet shops in Saudi Arabia.
  • 1995: Uncovered a Pakistani gang smuggling gorillas.
  • 1996-1998: Raised over $35,000 to support Limbe Sanctuary in Cameroon.
  • 1997: Began campaign against illegal shipments of baby monkeys from Indonesia to Chicago.
  • 1999: Joined forces with Indonesian group ProFauna.
recent accomplishments
Recent Accomplishments
  • 2000: Investigated a shipment of colobus monkeys smuggled from Tanzania to Thailand.
  • 2001: International protest of drowning by Egyptian authorities of a baby gorilla and baby chimpanzee.
  • 2002: Led to the confiscation of 4 Nigerian baby gorillas in Malaysia. Received grant from Arcus Foundation.
  • 2003: Supported Nigerian Presidential panel, and increased assistance to many overseas activist groups and rescue centers. Celebrated 30th Anniversary.
  • 2004-2005: Investigated smuggling of orangutans to Thai Safari Park for “kick-boxing” shows for tourists. Shirley McGreal honored with ChevronTexaco Conservation Award.
fund our work
Annual Support

Make a Tax-Deductible Gift

Workplace Giving

Leave a Legacy for Primates

Grassroots Ideas:

Garage Sale or House Party

Special Collection at Place of Worship

Donate Your eBay Proceeds

Donate Frequent Flier Miles


Fund Our Work
adopt a gibbon program
Adopt-A-Gibbon Program
  • In exchange for your donation of $25 monthly for at least 6 months you will receive:
    • A signed Certificate of Gibbon Guardianship
    • A large glossy photograph of your gibbon
    • A biography/history of your gibbon
    • An IPPL sanctuary fact sheet
    • A gibbon fact sheet
    • A gibbon refrigerator magnet
    • A quarterly update on your gibbon
    • An IPPL T-shirt featuring several of our gibbons

This is an unusual and exciting gift for friends and family of any age!

ways to give time
Ways to Give Time
  • Sanctuary Volunteers Summerville, SC
  • Administrative Support
  • Help at our Members’ Meetings
  • Provide expertise in public relations, marketing, technology, or fundraising
campaign for safe primates
Campaign for SAFE Primates
  • Write Letters
  • Observe Conditions & Report
  • Join Demonstrations on Behalf of All Animals
  • Money Talks

Contact Us

International Primate

Protection LeagueP.O. Box 766Summerville, SC 29484


Phone: 843-871-2280