Cool Cat: Jake Funkhouser

Why you should know Jake: When Jake is passionate about something, you can tell. His passion and excitement balances well with his hard work and drive. The self-proclaimed “small town gay boy from South Bend” is double majoring in primate behavior & ecology and psychology, which has given him so many cool and unique opportunities—one of which was working directly to rescue, rehabilitate, and release primates into the wild in Panama last summer.


Jakes current research projects: Currently, Jake’s undergraduate thesis is “how do we design an enclosure to hold spider monkeys in captivity and foster this species’ typical behaviors?” Jake is still studying video footage of the spider money named Luna, that him and his colleagues recued while they were in Panama. Jake is also working with Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, located in Cle Elum. He reports to the organization about how the chimps are reacting to each other and to the space, consulting the sanctuary’s future investments for the benefit of the chimps.


Jakes Dream: One day, he would like to teach at a university and possibly own his own primate sanctuary. And we can definitely count on Jake to continue “giving individuals a voice that don’t normally get to be heard,” and educating the public about primate conservation and the negative effects of animal exploitation.


Want to learn more about Jake? If he looks familiar, it may be because you’ve seen him working at the information desk in the SURC, so stop by and say hi! “I could talk about primates for hours,” says Jake, although, he is not biased to just primates. 

By: Regina Carter