As all of us – humans and chimps! – happily welcome spring at the sanctuary, we also continue to welcome new chimp retirees to our Chimp Haven family. We’re thrilled to share that our most recent arrivals (whom you’ll meet in this newsletter) bring our current colony to more than 280 chimpanzees.
Right now, they’re enjoying their first days of sunshine at the sanctuary, and we’re so excited to continue to get to know them and share their stories with you.
But as you know, with nearly 200 chimps still remaining in research facilities waiting to come to Chimp Haven, our work is not yet complete. With the sanctuary very close to capacity, we’re in the middle of a large-scale expansion to create additional habitats, bedrooms, and veterinary suites to support our growing chimp family.
Despite many recent rainy Louisiana days, three new multi-acre habitats are beginning to take shape, and we love to think about all the chimps who will enjoy climbing, playing, and interacting in these spaces in the future.
Right now we’re especially excited about two 15,000-square-foot open-air corrals that will welcome chimps soon. These spaces will include green grass, growing trees, and multi-level structures for chimpanzees to explore, and will give Chimp Haven even more flexible spaces in which chimpanzee groups can live, play, and eat.
Both corrals include play structures and an overhead canopy shade to keep the chimps cool and comfy in warm weather. Corrals are expected to be completed this month and will welcome their first chimps sometime this spring.
In addition to chimp housing, construction continues on two new state-of-the-art veterinary suites, space to store and prep the chimps’ food, and much-needed staff areas where caregivers can share care info about chimps before they start their day, complete training, shower and change after a long day of work, and more.
Since the National Institutes of Health (NIH) ended biomedical research on chimpanzees in 2015, we’ve worked quickly to provide those chimps with a life at sanctuary – but there are still 200 in research facilities waiting their turn. Like you, we are dedicated to seeing the day when all former research chimpanzees get their chance to come to sanctuary. By expanding the Chimp Haven campus and making room for them, we’ll be taking a huge step toward making that dream a reality.
The Welcome Them Home expansion is a $20 million labor of love for the chimps, and we’re counting on generous supporters like you to help bring it to life so that, one day soon, every chimpanzee has their opportunity to retire to Chimp Haven.
Learn how you can be part of this historic project at: https://chimphaven.org/expansion-campaign/