Goals & Importance:

Provide a safe, natural habitat for captive gorillas outside Africa
Foster interspecies communication in an ideal climatic setting for great apes
Allow millions of viewers to learn about great apes via internet technology
Establish a permanent home for The Gorilla Foundation to advance its mission

Current Status:

The Gorilla Foundation has raised and invested roughly $2M to develop a beautiful leased 70-acre site on Maui, Hawaii, as a great ape sanctuary.   We are now looking to expand that site to approximately 350 acres and secure it as a great ape sanctuary in perpetuity by finding a major donor to purchase the landThe land acquisition has become an important prerequisite for continuation of the project. A major donor or corporation interested in helping us with land acquisition will be entitled to selected naming rights, for both the land and the internet-based virtual visitor center that will connect this unique sanctuary to a worldwide audience.  If you are interested in becoming such a major donor,  please contact us.



History & Progress: Maui Great Ape Sanctuary

1993:  70 acres of land leased  to  TGF by Maui Land & Pineapple Co. (MLP) til 2058

1995:  A 1 million gallon reservoir was built to serve the sanctuary's needs

1999:  A capital campaign was launched to raise $5M for design and construction

2000:   $2.7M was raised and a ground-blessing ceremony was held on the Maui site

2001:   The site was designed and permitted and 10 acres  were cleared and graded 

2002:   Initial foundations were constructed and electric power connected for Phase 1

2003:   MLP changed its leadership and indicated that a gorilla sanctuary was not particularly compatible with its business model, and that it could no longer be the supportive landlord it had been in the past.

2004:   TGF decided to freeze its capital campaign until it could obtain a purchase option 

2008:   New MLP leaders became receptive to the idea of selling the land to TGF

2010:   An ideal 350 acre property that include the 70-acre leased site was assessed at approximately $3.5M - $4M, but purchase funds could not be raised at that time. 

2011 - 2014:  TGF decided to focus on improving its present home in northern California until the right donor (or corporation) is found to purchase the land for TGF in perpetuity.







  1. Invested:  TGF has raised $2M for the Maui Ape Sanctuary and invested it in the 70-acre leased site — for land preparation (clearing, grading and planting), foundations, utilities, reservoir and design and engineering (see pie chart). 

  2. Needed: Before additional funds are raised or invested, TGF must first purchase the land — 350 acres which includes the leased site to provide a suitable long-term habitat for gorilla family development and an integrated center for interspecies communication research and education.  The estimated price of the expanded sanctuary land is now approximately $7M.   This  value will be re-assessed once  a prospective donor steps forward to make an offer to  Maui Land & Pineapple Company on the Gorilla Foundation's behalf.


The Maui Great Ape Sanctuary remains an ideal future home for the Gorilla Foundation to accomplish its long-term goals, and its completion is contingent on a major donation to purchase the land for long-term stability and expansion.   In the meantime, The Gorilla Foundation is focusing intensely on affordable enhancements to our California facility for the immediate benefit of gorillas Koko and Ndume.  This will enable new and ongoing research, care, conservation and education programs to proceed without delay.  

We will provide updates here at about the status of the Maui Sanctuary project, as well as on new developments at our California facility, as they unfold.


Contact Us

If you have the interest and ability to help us improve our current great ape research and care facility, or to purchase the Maui Sanctuary land to ensure its future, please contact us now.   Alternatively, if you know of someone you think would be interested in purchasing the land for the Maui Great Ape Sanctuary, we welcome and appreciate your referrals!



Contact Us



The Gorilla Foundation /
1733 Woodside Rd., Suite 330
Redwood City, CA, 94061
1-800-ME-GO-APE (634-6273)

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Our mission is to learn about gorillas by communicating with them, and apply our knowledge to advance great ape conservation, education, care and empathy.
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