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Jan 22 2019

Seabrook Island Natural History Guild Program Explores Primate Protection

By Norman Powers for The Island Connection

Dr. Shirley McGreal at her gibbons sanctuary in Summerville, SC.

Dr. Shirley McGreal, founder of the Summerville-based International Primate Protection League, will be the guest speaker for the February SINHG Evening Program on Thursday Feb. 14 at the Lake House.

Born and raised in Britain, Dr. McGreal received her doctorate in education in India and had been living abroad when, while in Thailand in the early 1970s, she witnessed the cruelties of the commercial and mostly illegal traffic in gibbons and macaques captured in the wild for the exotic pet market or for laboratory research. She was inspired to form IPPL in 1973 to advocate for and protect “plain monkeys” which were overlooked by other organizations dedicated to the large apes like chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans.

In 1977, Dr. McGreal settled on Summerville as the United States base for IPPL and as the site of a gibbon sanctuary which presently houses thirty-six animals.

Dr. McGreal has been listed on the United Nations Environment Program’s Global Roll of Honor among many other honors, has been one of People magazine’s People Of The Year, and in 2008 received the Order Of The British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II in a Buckingham Palace ceremony.

All Seabrook Island residents and their guests are welcome at February’s program beginning with fellowship and refreshments at 7 p.m., followed by the program at 7:30 p.m. There is a $5 charge for non-SINHG members. Pre-registration is available at

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