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The San Bruno Primate Shelter was an ape-house owned by John Landon in San Bruno, California.

Unbeknownst to John, his son Dodge gave cruel treatment towards the ape residents, such as shocking them with an electric cattle prod, calling them "stupid monkeys" and "lazy baboons", and hosing the apes with a high-powered fire hose without any remorse. Another employee, Rodney, was kinder to the inmates.



It is not known when the shelter was opened but it was used to house apes, whether they were behaved or hostile to the wider community. The apes housed there mainly consisted of chimpanzees who were headed by a violent chimp named Rocket, a friendly former circus orangutan named Maurice and a kind but lonely gorilla named Buck. The apes at the shelter were treated horribly by sadistic shelter guard Dodge Landon who, as the son of the John, didn't waste a moment to degrade or torment the apes either with his cattle prod, water hose, or verbal abuse. However, another employee, Rodney, was kinder to the apes. Some apes were transferred to Gen-Sys Laboratories to be used for experimental tests and it seems the shelter and labs have been in business for a while.

Caesar's Arrival[]

Caesar was taken to the facility after an attack on Douglas Hunsiker, an aggressive neighbor. He was mistreated by both the primates headed by Rocket and by Dodge, and observed that both species were brutal and different than he had previously thought. When Will Rodman came to visit Caesar asked if he can return home, but Will refused as there was no way he could get him out at the time. Embittered, Caesar started to feel disappointed as he struggle to adapt to life in the horrible shelter but his spirits were lifted when he made friends with the kind orangutan Maurice who secretly knew sign language as well.

Afterwards, Caesar saw Dodge and his father tranquillize a group of chimps who were arranged to be taken from the shelter to Gen-Sys as experimental test subjects which angered him as they were his own people. Soon Caesar started to adjust to life in the shelter as he began teaching himself to fight to protect himself from any forms of danger. Caesar then took notice of a cage in play area housing a large gorilla named Buck who was attempting to escape by banging on the door repeatedly but to no such luck as he still remained trapped.

Later, Dodge brought a group of people to the shelter for a tour and while doing so he both ridiculed and tortured the apes as show of amusement. The resentful Caesar lured and stole a flick-knife from one of Dodge's friends to use for other purposes one of which was to escape. At night, he made a makeshift trick lock tool to break out of his cage and head to the play den where he managed to open Buck's cage causing the gorilla to abruptly wake up and try to attack him. However, Buck noticed his cage was opened and though hesitant he soon dashed out of his cage where he played with all the toys the other apes played with over the last few years. Buck was grateful to Caesar for freeing him and became another close friend to Caesar who came up with a way for Buck to repay him by using his strength for a task: overthrow Rocket.

Ape Rebellion[]

Caesar, proving himself to be the new alpha of the shelter refused to return with his human father having adjusted to life as a leader but knew it was not enough and desired to bring the apes together in order for them to be strong but was told by Maurice the other apes were too stupid to unite. Escaping at night, Caesar returned to Will's house and stole three canisters containing the new strain of the ALZ-113 "cure", and greatly increased his and his comrade's intelligence, and claimed dominance over the primates. The following morning, Caesar examine the other apes' and saw that their eyes had turned green, signifying their altered state and mental capacity. When Dodge found Caesar in the play area when he was not meant to be, he tried to electrocute Caesar, who after talking, beat him down and locked him in a cage. The remaining worker Rodney was beaten but placed gently in a cage for being more kinder to the apes than Dodge. In the wake of their liberation, Dodge awoke and after trying to attack, was hosed by Caesar while his electric cattle-prod was still on. As a result, Dodge was electrocuted to death, much to Rodney's and Caesar's utter horror. Caesar then released Buck from his cage and the new-found ape army escaped the shelter and headed for the city to free all their captive brethren.


Rodney was left in the cage until morning where he was found by Will and Caroline and told them Caesar spoke. The couple were confused by Rodney's words as they were more focused on the dead body of Dodge. As a result, the police were called in about the situation. The police and Landon arrived on the scene; after reviewing the tape and seeing Dodge's death by Caesar's hand, Landon was left to mourn the death of his son.


Inside the building there were a number of rooms. These included:

  • Play Area: A large enclosure with some jungle-like design and various enrichments inside, such as toys, swings and an artificial tree, in which the apes could spend limited time.
  • Cage Room: A prison-like holding area for individual apes.
  • Landon's Office: John Landon's place of work that also featured a one-ape holding pen for visitors.
  • Buck's Cage: A large single cage in the play area made individually for the large gorilla Buck.
  • Infirmary: A small recovery room where apes are treated for illness or after they're shot at with the tranquillizer gun. Like the play area, it has a jungle design that is like the natural habitat for apes.


  • Each cage in the shelter bore the name of its inmate. The name 'Caesar' is seen printed on the chimp's cage within minutes of his arrival, but it already looks weathered and worn.
  • In an earlier version of the script, the San Bruno Primate Shelter was known simply as 'The Ranch', and also had horses kept on the grounds. 'Dr. Molly Stewart' (Caroline Aranha) worked at the Ranch on a voluntary basis.
  • The shelter was based on the Black Beauty Ranch in Athens, Texas, where famous chimp test subject Nim Chimpsky spent his final years.[1]
  • The shelter was also similar to the human zoo from the original film.
  • The human zoo from 1968's Planet of Apes was Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver's inspiration for this shelter. Scenes like the one where Dodge Landon sprays Caesar with a fire house were directly inspired by scenes from the original movie.
  • One of the apes in the shelter names is Simon if you look closely at there name tags. Simon is almost close to Rocket and Maurice cage.


See Also[]


  1. Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver commentary - Rise of the Planet of the Apes Blu-Ray edition (2011)
Planet of the Apes - 20th Century Reboot Series
Planet of the Apes (CE) Movies
Rise of the Planet of the Apes | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes | War for the Planet of the Apes | Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
Main Evolved Ape Characters
Caesar | Bright Eyes | Koba | Maurice | Rocket | Buck | Cornelia | Blue Eyes | Luca | Ash | Cornelius | Winter | Lake | Bad Ape | Red | Noa | Soona | Anaya | Raka | Koro | Dar | Proximus Caesar | Sylva | Lightning
Supporting Ape Characters
Alpha | Burke | Verdon | Tinker | Grey | Stone | Andy | Wolfie | Jeanpierre | Lucky | Koba's Mother | Sparrow | Pope | Fifer | Cora | Rex | Bon | Dallas | Milo | Herman | Spear | Ajax | Oak | Fox | Aghoo | Ursus | Percy | Beardface | Armando | Luna | Oda | Rust
Main Human Characters
Will Rodman | Charles Rodman | Caroline Aranha | Robert Franklin | Steven Jacobs | Dodge Landon | John Landon | Douglas Hunsiker | Malcolm | Ellie | Alexander | Dreyfus | Carver | Foster | Colonel McCullough | Nova | Mae | Trevathan
Supporting Human Characters
Rodney | John Hamil | Rita | Sarah | Maddy | John | Edward | Roger Mason | Werner | Kemp | Clancy Stoppard | Corbin | Daniel Nygun | David Flynn | Finney | Kuo | Malakai Youmans | Max (Firestorm) | McVeigh | Terry | Roger | Rod Wilson | Preacher | Boyle | Lang | Travis | Korina
Rodman Family | Caesar's Family | Malcolm's Family | Rocket's Family | Dreyfus' Family
Horse | Elk | Grizzly Bear | Eagle | Zebra
Items / Weapons
Simian Flu
Important Events / Battles
Ape Rebellion | Human-Ape War | Simian Flu Pandemic | Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge | Battle in San Francisco | Battle of Muir Woods Park | Attack on Ape Waterfall | Battle of the Border
Organizations / Colonies / Companies
San Francisco Ape Colony | Caesar's Council of Apes | Caesar's Ape Army | Gen-Sys Board | San Francisco's Human Colony | Dreyfus' Human Army | Malcolm's Group | Alpha-Omega | Donkeys | Florida Ape Colony | Rocky Mountains Ape Colony | Eagle Clan | Coastal Ape Colony | Order of Caesar | Satellite Human Colony
West African Jungle | San Francisco | San Francisco Zoo | Gen-Sys Laboratories | Rodman House | San Bruno Primate Shelter | Golden Gate Bridge | Muir Woods Park | Ape Mountain | Ape Gate | Ape Village | Caesar's Home | Warehouse | Ape Waterfall | The Border | Oasis
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (webcomic) | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Contagion | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios) | Before the Dawn | War for the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios) | Planet of the Apes: The Time of Man | Planet of the Apes: The Simian Age | Planet of the Apes: Devolution
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization | War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations | War for the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization | Caesar’s Story
Other Books
Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: The Art of the Films
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | War for the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album)
Video Games
Plague Inc: Simian Flu | Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier | Crisis on the Planet of the Apes VR