Staff

LISA "ANNE" SCHUSTER
Assisting Gorilla Caregiver

Anne joined the field of animal care and conservation later in life although it had been a childhood dream since seeing Koko on the cover of National Geographic. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Anne graduated from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington after moving to the West Coast. There she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Primate Behavior & Ecology along with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology as well as an education in American Sign Language.

Upon graduation Anne was hired as a primary caregiver for the chimpanzees living in Ellensburg at the Chimpanzee & Human Communication Institute. These chimpanzees acquired the use of sign language in a similar fashion to Koko and Anne participated in many research studies to further the knowledge of interspecies communication there.  

Anne was also a long-time volunteer and, later, a caregiver at the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.  Anne also spent a year as a Veterinary Assistant to acquire more skills to contribute towards her philosophy of compassionate caregiving.

Although Anne's experience to date has been with chimpanzees, gorillas have long fascinated her and she is excited about the opportunity to learn more by caring for gorillas Koko and Ndume. She is passionate about great apes and their conservation and has long been inspired by the work of Penny, Koko, and the Gorilla Foundation. It is the realization of a lifelong dream to become a part of the team.

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The Gorilla Foundation / Koko.org
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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