Get your dancing shoes on and prepare for the third Annual "Rock of Apes"! A fun and informative evening awaits you, commencing with short talks on research and conservation by world-leading great ape experts, and concluding with a concert featuring Phoenix — one of the top-rated classic rock bands in the country.
Entry includes two drink tickets, redeemable for an Orangutini cocktail, wine or beer. A full cash bar will be available, alongside a delicious buffet featuring heavy appetizers from our beautiful state of Colorado. Enjoy the chance to bid on some spectacular items in our silent auction. All proceeds from the evening go to great ape conservation and research, supporting the projects of our speakers.
Doors open at 5:30pm, as does the silent auction and the buffet. Come early, get a good seat, and start eating, drinking and bidding in support of great apes! Talks are from 7pm to 9pm, with plenty of short intervals to top up your glass. Phoenix will take the stage from 9pm till Midnight. The dress for the evening is rocker chic: wear what you would if you were going to a concert; this is not a black tie affair!
DR GRAHAM L BANES
Dr Graham L Banes returns for Rock of Apes III, in his tenth year of studying orangutans. As a field researcher, Dr Banes has been primarily based in Borneo's Tanjung Puting National Park, where he identified the world’s largest population of orangutans, disentangled their social and sexual behaviour, and determined that historical reintroductions have led to hybridization in the wild between subspecies. His discoveries have been featured extensively in the international press, notably by The Washington Post, in Science magazine, and in the PBS documentary, Sex in the Wild: Orangutans, now available on Netflix. Dr Banes studied Zoology at the University of British Columbia, Canada before graduating from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He later earned Master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Cambridge, following an 18-month residency at Germany's Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Over the last three years, as a Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, he's visited more than 150 zoos across China, working tirelessly to improve the welfare of orangutans and other great apes. For this, he was honored with a Chinese-language profile by The New York Times. Dr Banes returns to tell us more about his work in China, partly funded with the proceeds of Rock of Apes II, including the construction of several new orangutan exhibits, the results of genetic testing, and the development of the Orangutan Animal Care Guide: the first official, Chinese-language husbandry guide for any non-endemic species. Dr Banes has a wicked sense of humor, so we suggest you come early and start drinking long before he does.
Patti Ragan is the founder of the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, FL, which provides a permanent sanctuary for orangutans and chimpanzees who have been rescued or retired from the entertainment industry, from research, or from the exotic pet trade. The Center has its roots in the rainforests of Tanjung Puting National Park, where, in 1984, Patti Ragan spent several months volunteering on a rehabilitation project for wild orangutans. During this intense time of living with orangutans and gaining experience caring for orphaned infants, Patti learned to love and appreciate the quiet and gentle nature of these animals. She was subsequently asked in 1990 to help care for a four-week old infant orangutan who was held at a tourist attraction in Miami. Believing that the infant was going to eventually be sent to live with other orangutans at an AZA-accredited zoo, she was surprised to learn that the owner intended to sell the baby orangutan to a circus trainer. However, because of a serious illness that affected the infant, he was not sold and the owner agreed to allow Patti the opportunity to find an appropriate home for the infant. She soon learned that accredited zoos did not want a mixed Bornean/Sumatran orangutan, especially one that was hand-raised. Realizing that there were no opportunities for placement in an accredited zoo, and that there would never be a chance for him to live in the wild, Patti set out to find a sanctuary for the orangutan infant: there wasn't one. Shortly thereafter, she was asked to care for a three-month-old baby chimpanzee — and quickly decided to start her own sanctuary for orangutans and chimpanzees. Four years later, in beautiful and tropical wooded habitat surrounded by orange groves and away from development, Patti opened what is now the Center for Great Apes: more than 100 acres of sanctuary for chimpanzees and orangutans. She returns to Rock of Apes to update us on the sanctuary's progress over the last year, which benefitted from part of the proceeds from Rock of Apes II.
DR GARY SHAPIRO
Dr Gary Shapiro was the first person (1973-1975) to teach a symbolic communication system to an orangutan (at what is now Fresno Chaffee Zoo, CA) and the first person to teach sign language to orangutans in the species' natural environment, in the forests of Indonesia's Tanjung Puting National Park (1978-1980; 1981). It was there that he met his adopted daughter, Princess: an orangutan who learned more than 30 signs, which she used to express her interests, to ask for items and to describe her environment. Princess also joined seven other orangutans in a study of sign learning which became Dr Shapiro's dissertation project. During his time in Indonesian Borneo, he also assisted in the rehabilitation efforts of dozens of orangutans confiscated from the illegal pet trade and monitored the phenology of local rain forest ecosystem. Dr Shapiro received his doctorate in Zoology in 1985 from the University of Oklahoma, returning to Tanjung Puting the following year to conduct post-doctoral freshwater ecology studies. He was later the co-founder and vice president of the Orangutan Foundation International (1986-2004). In late 2004, Dr Shapiro and his Indonesian wife, Inggriani, were inspired to create the Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative (OUREI), a nonprofit project (operating under Social & Environmental Entrepreneurs), in response to the education needs underscoring the crisis facing orangutans today, particularly in Sumatra. Dr Shapiro returns to Rock of Apes to briefly share updates from his Orangutan Caring Scholarship program, having awarded 121 scholarship and research grants to deserving Indonesian and international students (2006-2016). Recent scholarships were partly funded with the proceeds of Rock of Apes II.
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