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Pacific Primate Sanctuary, Inc. (Established 1984)
Web Site:

Director: Lucy L. Wormser
Phone: (808) 572-8089   Fax: (808) 572-8089   E-Mail:
500-A Haloa Road, Haiku, Hawaii 96708 UNITED STATES
Affiliations: American Zoo and Aquarium Association; American Society of Primatologists, International Primatological Society

Mission: Pacific Primate Sanctuary, Inc, is a nonprofit, IRS 501(C)(3),conservation organization dedicated to the rehabilitation and protection of threatened, endangered or distressed primates.

Since 1984, the Sanctuary has maintained a wildlife rehabilitation and conservation program in Haiku, Hawaii for several species of New World monkeys. Pacific Primate Sanctuary's immediate goal is to end the suffering of some of our fellow beings and return them to a natural state of equilibrium. We ensure that they can live out the rest of their lives in a manner commensurate with their birthright. At the Sanctuary "surplus" laboratory primates, ex-pets and those confiscated from smugglers will never have to endure pain and exploitation. They will not be subjected to biomedical tests or be sold to the pet trade.

Principal Research Programs: Pacific Primate Sanctuary's current programs and activities:

A) Rehabilitation and Conservation Program: Pacific Primate Sanctuary offers refuge and protection to Central and South America primates, particularly threatened marmoset and tamarin monkeys. Our work at the Sanctuary includes providing the rehabilitative care, which enables primates to recover from the trauma and abuse that they have suffered. Pacific Primate Sanctuary provides enclosed tropical jungle habitats for primate family groups to live in relatively natural surroundings, with an abundant variety of organically grown food, and dedicated care. The tropical rain forest of Maui's north shore is very similar to their natural environments thus allowing the primates to be outdoors year round.

B) Volunteer Program: Currently there are generally 7 non-salaried trained volunteers responsible for the daily care and operation of the Sanctuary. Over the past 30 years, many of our volunteers have been students. The extensive training they receive at the Sanctuary and their exposure to the philosophy and practice of wildlife conservation have been of great importance to their academic, personal and, ultimately, their professional growth.

C) Zoological Horticulture: Our innovative zoological horticulture program began fifteen years ago in an effort to provide more "natural" food and forage for the primates. As most rain forest vegetation grows well here, we have started hundreds of trees from seeds to vegetate the habitats for each colony of monkeys. Some marmosets and tamarins have been found to be gumivores (eating exudates from gum trees), and therefore they have special dietary needs. Particular emphasis has been placed on growing plant species related to South American sources of gum, so essential to their diet. Twenty enclosures have been planted with these species. Two large enclosures have, similarly, been planted with tropical vegetation for two Capuchin monkeys and a 40' enclosure has been created for 2 Spider monkeys . The monkeys are finally able to live outdoors year round in jungle habitats planted with trees, vines, flower and fruits similar to those in their native forests.

D) Environmental Education program: Representatives of Pacific Primate Sanctuary offer presentations on such subjects as: the conservation and protection of endangered species, rain forest preservation and the changing global environment to students from from grade school to university levels. Our objective is to assist our children in becoming environmental stewards, educators and problem solvers.

E) Internship program
Primatology students and professionals in related fields are selected by our Board for year long resident immersion internships at the Sanctuary providing the unique opportunity of receiving training in all aspects of New World primate care and husbandry. Interns live on site and can observe the monkeys housed in social groups in a naturalistic tropical setting similar to their native jungles which are often inaccessible.

Training Opportunities: Volunteer Position Available (on-going) for a Resident New World Primate Caregiver/Office Assistant at Pacific Primate Sanctuary, Maui, Hawaii

This is truly a Sanctuary, a beautiful place for the right person. We would welcome someone with a background and interest in animal husbandry, welfare and conservation, exotic veterinary medicine, biology, and related fields, who is a mature team player with respect for others. We need a good, clear communicator (written and spoken English), and coordinator with a minimal personal agenda, who seeks mutual growth for all and is able to make a long term commitment to the primates and the staff. A one year commitment is requested.

The position requires a self-starter and hard worker, someone who is humble, compassionate, self-reliant, organized, professional, computer literate, open to learning, capable of problem solving and completing a task. We need someone who can function independently as well as in a group. Our Resident Intern would need to be physically fit, with no communicable diseases or criminal record, who has a driver's license and would enjoy a rural lifestyle with simple amenities. Citizens of foreign countries would need to secure their own visas and permits independently.

Responsibilities of an animal caregiver involve: providing daily care, enrichment, and nurturing to 50+/- monkeys, administering medications, preparing food, cleaning enclosures, and maintaining the Sanctuary facility. Office assistance would include: data entry (Mac- Filemaker Pro, Excel, Word), correspondence, record-keeping. After the training period, managerial duties would be added and more technical training may be available. This is more than a full time position and includes on-call duties.

Pacific Primate Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization (501(C)(3). Our staff is made up of 5-10 volunteer caregivers (who volunteer one or more shifts each week), 1-3 interns, and an off-site support system of veterinary and other professionals. Since the well-being of the monkeys is our primary focus, they are not on exhibit, the facility is not open to the public and they are not subjected to any medical research.

As a result, our organization is not eligible for funding from any governmental agencies nor do we receive funds from admission, as would a public zoo. Therefore, we must rely solely upon donations from compassionate individuals and organizations. Our operating budget is extremely small. Financial independence for living expenses is requested.
We provide a fully furnished and equipped 24-foot Yurt or a 16-foot Yurt (traditional round structures designed specifically for tropical living) and utilities. An organic garden and fruit orchard exist on-site. The Yurt is adjacent to the Sanctuary on a large piece of rainforest property with its own bathroom facilities. You would be trained by experienced members of our staff in all aspects of New World primate care (Callithrix, Cebus, and Ateles) and may eventually become a head animal caregiver.

Please begin making application by submitting the following: your Letter of Intent in making application, your Resume/CV, and three Letters of Reference (from instructors, employers etc.). Please send all application documents via email to:

Me Ke Aloha No Na Holoholona,
With Love For The Animals,

Lucy L. Wormser
Founder and President

Pacific Primate Sanctuary, Inc.
500 A Haloa Road
Haiku, Maui, Hawaii 96708

Sanctuary Phone & Fax: 808. 572.8089


Number of Staff: 10

Publications: "Primate Update" (newsletter) monthly on Pacific Primate Sanctuary's Facebook and Blog pages.

Comments: Licenses and Permits: United States Dept. of Agriculture (License # 95-C-025); United States Dept. of Interior (Past Permit #715427); Pacific Primate Sanctuary will accept and provide refuge to marmosets, tamarins, capuchins, and spider monkeys needing placement, particularly at-risk species.

Last Updated: 2014-05-10

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