What is Chimp Haven?
Chimp Haven is a private, non-profit sanctuary that has been designated by the National Institutes of Health as the national chimpanzee sanctuary for all NIH-owned chimpanzees retired, primarily, from biomedical research facilities. The sanctuary is a refuge of 200 acres near Shreveport, Louisiana, home to more than 230 chimpanzees who live in large social groups within multi-dimensional and naturally forested habitats where the chimps can enjoy freedom and tranquility.
Where do the chimpanzees come from?
Nearly all of the chimpanzees at Chimp Haven were retired from research facilities, some of which included biomedical research supporting HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis research.
Why were they retired?
Chimpanzees are a lot like us. They are mankind’s closest biological relative, and were considered a good medical model for research on illnesses and diseases that affect people. After the research community overwhelmingly determined chimpanzees were no longer necessary for medical research, in 2015, the National Institutes of Health made the landmark decision to retire all NIH-owned chimpanzees living in research centers around the country.
How many of the retired chimpanzees have moved to sanctuary?
Chimp Haven has transported, received and successfully introduced more than 350 chimpanzees – 42 chimpanzees were moved to sanctuary in 2017 alone – an extraordinary accomplishment given the complex logistics of chimpanzee introduction and sophisticated social dynamics within chimpanzee communities.
Will the chimpanzees ever be returned to research?
No. All of the chimpanzees at Chimp Haven are permanently retired and will live out the rest of their life at Chimp Haven. In 2007, Congress passed the Chimp Haven is Home Act which prohibits their return to research.
Is any research conducted on the chimpanzees at Chimp Haven?
The chimpanzees are retired from medical research and no invasive studies are ever conducted at Chimp Haven. The primary goal, every day, at Chimp Haven is to ensure each individual chimpanzee is experiencing the best quality of life and has an enriching retirement at the sanctuary. Our staff conduct careful scientific observations of the chimpanzee to monitor their behavior and ensure successful social integration. More than 350 chimpanzees have been integrated into social groups at the sanctuary using these careful methods and processes based on scientific principals and processes.
Are the chimpanzees healthy?
We are home to chimpanzees with a wide variety of individual health needs and age ranges. The elderly chimpanzees often require medications to manage heart, kidney or liver disease as well as arthritis. Some chimpanzees come to Chimp Haven with pre-existing conditions and chronic health problems that require long-term care. Chimp Haven’s veterinary staff provides expert medical care and appropriate medication to treat the chimpanzees. The behavioral staff monitors the psychological health and behavior of the chimpanzees. Our shared goal is helping the chimpanzees feel happy, healthy and comfortable for their retirement years.
Why doesn’t Chimp Haven breed chimpanzees (aren’t they endangered?)
Chimp Haven works diligently to prevent chimpanzee pregnancies because our objective is to be a place of retirement for chimpanzees who are currently living in research laboratories. Any space that is taken by a new birth replaces the space and resources that could be provided to a chimpanzee awaiting retirement.
How is Chimp Haven funded?
Chimp Haven receives partial government funding to care for the NIH-owned chimpanzees. We are a private, non-profit organization and depend significantly on the generosity of individuals to help us cover the remaining care costs for the chimpanzees. Additionally, Chimp Haven does not receive any government funding to build new habitats to accommodate more chimpanzees awaiting retirement. Without the generosity of support from individuals, corporations, foundations, and organizations Chimp Haven could not provide the chimpanzees with the retirement they deserve. To learn about donation opportunities, please visit our support page and consider making a donation today.
How much does it cost to care for each chimpanzee per year?
It costs about $18,000 per chimpanzee annually to provide care. This includes their food, medical care, enrichment, and all of the basic necessities for these extraordinary individuals. The National Institutes of Health provides approximately 75 percent of the care costs for all of the NIH-owned chimpanzees. Chimp Haven must raise the remaining 25 percent of funds for the chimpanzees’ care through fundraising. Chimp Haven is entirely responsible for raising the funds needed for all construction projects to improve, expand, or add more chimpanzee habitats or veterinary suites to provide care for additional chimpanzees awaiting retirement.
How many chimpanzees are still awaiting retirement?
More than 200 NIH-owned chimpanzees remain in research facilities awaiting transition to retirement in sanctuary.
How can I help transition more chimpanzees to retirement?
We rely entirely on the generosity of donations to build more habitats so we can retire more chimpanzees. You can help provide the retirement chimpanzees deserve by donating today. Make a secure online donation, by phone (318) 925-9575, or by sending a check by mail to:
13600 Chimpanzee Place
Keithville, LA 71047
Why send chimps to sanctuary?
Chimpanzees deserve sanctuary retirement. This refuge is designed and operating with the singular purpose of providing chimpanzees an enriching lifestyle free from experiences of the past. At Chimp Haven, a chimpanzee spends his or her day however they wish. Choice is a key ingredient of sanctuary life. Chimp Haven provides a place to play, climb and explore in an environment similar to what they would experience in the wild. At Chimp Haven, we believe sanctuary is the best place for chimpanzees retired from biomedical research and we’re on a mission to bring them home to experience the happy life they deserve.
What is sanctuary?
Sanctuary provides chimpanzees choices and opportunities to experience life in a natural environment. Only sanctuaries are created for the sole purpose of giving chimpanzees as much choice and freedom in their lives as possible while focusing on the needs of the individual. Chimp Haven is designed to provide long-term care to an aging chimpanzee population. The sanctuary is fully-equipped to support and care for chimpanzees for their entire lives. Chimp Haven ensures chimpanzees always have access to the things that make them happy, such as good food, behavioral enrichment, varied nesting materials, and friends, which provides and an enriching environment where they can choose how to spend their days.
Does Chimp Haven have capacity to provide sanctuary to all NIH-owned and supported chimpanzees?
Chimp Haven is currently expanding to make room for every chimpanzee deemed eligible for transport to sanctuary. Expansion work is slated for completion in summer 2019. We have space now to continue transitioning chimpanzees from research facilities to sanctuary throughout fall 2018 through spring 2019. We always take a summer transfer hiatus to avoid extreme temperatures, and will resume transfers in fall 2019 with all expansion work completed.