Getting to know The Mannheimer Foundation

The Mlogoannheimer Primatological Foundation was founded in New Jersey by Hans Mannheimer, an eccentric inventor who had a large collection of chimpanzees and monkeys. Shortly before he died, he moved his animals to Homestead, Florida. Upon his death in 1973, Mannheimer’s fortune was left to a trust that would fund his primatological foundation.

Hans Mannheimer, in his own way, loved animals. He would never have approved of invasive primate research. Sadly, trustees quickly and dramatically changed the focus of the foundation. Today, The Mannheimer Foundation (“Primatological” was dropped from the name) operates two facilities in Florida where monkeys are bred for experimentation.

At the original site in Homestead (20255 SW 360th Street), hundreds of cages are hidden behind a thick hedge. In 2005, Mannheimer opened a larger breeding/research facility in LaBelle (12215 E State Road 80) called Haman Ranch. There are approx. 4,000 macaque monkeys, and several hundred hamadryas baboons, at the two facilities.

Key employees:

  • Joseph L. Wagner, Executive Director (Wagner’s salary was $224,382 in 2013!)
  • Pablo R. Morales, Director/Veterinarian
  • Susan M. Howell, Associate Director
  • Jennifer F. Lane, Site Director
  • Elysse A. Orchard, Director of Development/Veterinarian
  • Krishna Rivas-Wagner, Director of Operations

The Mannheimer Foundation trustees oversee the foundation and its work:

  • Warren L. Lewis, President (attorney; lives in Homestead)
  • Dr. Theodore I. Malinin (retired professor of orthopaedics at University of Miami; lives in Key Biscayne)
  • Joseph L. Wagner, VP (Wagner lives in Miami)
  • Dennis V. Donato, Treasurer (accountant; lives in New Jersey)
  • Noreen Hoglund (Noreen is The Mannheimer Foundation’s Office Manager; she lives in Homestead)
  • two trustees, John Leeds and Frances O’Brien, died in 2014.

Smash HLS is eager to learn more about The Mannheimer Foundation. Please get in touch if you have information about its operations.

16 thoughts on “Getting to know The Mannheimer Foundation

  1. You are aware that this is a 501c3 corporation aren’t you? So HOW are they getting away with the breeding for profit of these animals? Where is the educational aspect? Where is the charitable aspect of this corporation?

  2. I worked for Hans in nj and moved to homestead until 1974 .I returned to nj to work at primate imports after Hans died.I was the last employee there

    1. Dear Mr. Kenney, I can remember being a young child, out for a boat ride with my family in the Barnegat Bay…probably 1970-72…? When we came across a boat that had stalled in the middle of the bay! My father offered to tow them back to shore. He tossed a rope and that is when I realized there were monkeys on board! They were dressed in clothes and wearing life jackets! It was the craziest thing I had ever seen! We towed them back to shore and said our goodbyes. I haven’t thought about that story until today, while at the beach watching the boats go by, telling my daughter stories about my childhood at the Jersey Shore. I told her the monkey story…and I know it sounded like a dream! So we came in a turned to Google for some answers and sure enough, it is true! I am so very sad to read about what has happened to Mr. Mannheimer’s beloved monkeys…makes me sick. I read your post about being the last employee and just wanted to share my story.

      1. Dear Stephanie,
        My family and I had a similar experience In Toms River. We saw the same boat and we saw what we thought was a child “hanging” off the starboard side of the boat. We were afraid that the parent wasn’t watching. My husband used his horn and the “child” was startled and hit his head. It was then we realized that the child was indeed a monkey, all dressed up in child’s clothing and a life jacket. Too funny! We also had an opportunity to go in to the house where all the monkeys were kept. It was on the Toms River. Next door was another house, reportedly owned by Mr. Mannheimer’s girlfriend. That house was filled with cats. We did not go in to that one. The monkey house was quite an experience. Monkeys were pretty free to run wherever they wanted. When we went it, it was feeding time and it was quite an experience. One that none of us will ever forget. Nice to share our memories.

        1. My father was one of the suppliers of those apes. I remember going on deliveries with my father to his place in Toms River NJ and seeing the monkey house was and the special inclosure for the clawless otters. With one shipment of siamangs and gibbons we delivered an orangutan. Hans was very happy that day. So many tales from back then.

    2. I think I know you. I’m RD Thomas. I was the Manager of Pet Farm when you brought the primates to Florida . Give me a call. It would be nice to talk. 817-999-3825

    3. Hi Ed, Did you work for Hans in the early 60s? My dad worked as Hans landscaper in Toms River. Also Hans wanted my dad to be his landscaper when they moved to FL after we came back to the states (was stationed in Puerto Rico for 3 Yrs) in 68. Us 5 kids enjoyed our visits to his home, great memories. My dad is Richard Miller.

  3. Hello: I worked for Hans Mannheimer in New Jersey in 1969-70 (I think the dates are correct). I was hired as a companion to Mandy, the female chimpanzee. At the time there were two chimps: Bunky and Mandy. Bunky was a pretty aggressive young male. Mandy was shy. She has been shot in the hand when her mother was shot – so that the baby could be taken, and they were afraid that Mandy would become aggressive if not well socialized. I worked a double shift, morning and late afternoon, so the monkeys and chimps could rest in the afternoon. The house was indeed filled with cats – probably about 200. There were about 100 monkeys. I have many stories of my time there: involving the chimps, the cats, the vet, the animal dealer who visited once, Hans (everything was blue: his clothes, his bedroom, his carpets, his limos; he loved the monkeys and cats but not people; his “girlfriend” lived nextdoor; he had quite a collection of guns, including machine guns), and the people who worked there (although I don’t remember theirnames). It was the strangest job I ever had. Eventually I had to quit because I got histoplasmosis, probably from the monkeys. It is only now that I have looked on line to see if I could find out any information about the monkeys, etc. Learning that Hans died of lung cancer is not surprising. He smoked, the atmosphere in the house was stressful: very hot and very humid, with monkeys from all over the world and sick cats. I have so often wondered about Bunky and Mandy. Especially Mandy; we were pretty bonded and she was very angry when I stopped showing up.

  4. Mr Mannheimer helped my husband get into vet school at U Penn. I have a picture of my sister in law with Mandy.

  5. Great stories and it’s threads like this that make sure realize what a small world it is.
    I got a the same sense of both nostalgia with injustice when I read a similar thread about a place called Musa Isle (long gone) by the Miami River and NW 27 ave, where the Seminole Indians had a small reservation about 50 years ago from about 1890 to 1967?

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