Patti Ragan- Founder of The Center For Great Apes

Our guest is Patti Ragan–founder of The Center For Great Apes, a 100-acre sanctuary in Wauchula, FL which houses 40+ chimpanzees (including Michael Jackon’s old pal Bubbles) and the country’s largest gathering of orangutans.




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Bubbles the chimpanzee

Ragan discusses some of the actual traits and stories attendant to captive apes as opposed to the sometimes sensationalized or otherwise warped media accounts about them; explains the protocol for when new chimps or orangutans arrive at the Center, including an initial period of quarantine; recounts her unlikely path to founding the Center nearly two decades ago; describes a typical day for the Center apes, which includes lots of fruits, vegetables, enrichment and fresh linens!; annual costs involved in feeding and caring for the animals, and more. []

COMEDY CORNER: Eddie Izzard’s “Birds” (snippet) (

MUSIC: The Bad Plus’ “Rhinoceros Is My Profession,” Franz Ferdinand’s “The Lobster Quadrille,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Jerry Goldsmith’s “Theme From Planet Of The Apes”

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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