In 2013, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) officially ended federally-funded biomedical research on chimpanzees. As the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Chimp Haven was designated as the place where hundreds of chimpanzees formerly used in biomedical research would retire.

Since then, Chimp Haven has embarked on a determined effort to bring every eligible chimpanzee waiting in research facilities across the country home to the sanctuary as quickly as possible.

Now, the moment we’ve been working toward has arrived.

This fall, some of the final chimpanzees slated to retire to sanctuary from research facilities are on their way to Chimp Haven – just in time to celebrate their first holiday season at their new forever home. It’s a moment more than 16 years in the making, when we welcomed the sanctuary’s very first chimpanzees to Chimp Haven.

With this landmark moment upon us, we’ve also reached the final, critical stage of expanding our sanctuary in time for their arrival.

Completing the final spaces of the expansion will allow Chimp Haven to welcome the remaining chimps home in time for the holidays and ensure we can care for them for years to come.

“Chimp Haven cares for chimpanzees retired from medical research, enabling them to enjoy a healthy, happy life, living in engaging, enriched habitats and in communities with other chimpanzees. I hope you will support Chimp Haven and help provide for these chimpanzees as they live out their days in the sanctuary’s excellent care.”

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE
Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace

In addition to new housing for chimpanzees still waiting in research facilities, the Welcome Them Home expansion will provide critically-needed sanctuary upgrades to ensure Chimp Haven can meet the needs of our rapidly growing family for years to come.

With less than $650,000 needed to close out the campaign, there are still several projects that will be hugely impactful for the sanctuary and the chimps that need support. We invite you to be part of this historic effort by donating today or contacting Chimp Haven’s Chief Development and Marketing Officer, Taylor Johnson at

When you help Chimp Haven complete its historic sanctuary expansion with a gift of $500 or more, you’ll symbolically purchase a parcel of land in one of three new multi-acre chimpanzee habitats.

When Hamlet arrived at the sanctuary in 2006, many who worked with him during his life in research thought he would never be able to live in a group with other chimps. Hamlet, like other retirees who arrive at Chimp Haven, was described as “hyper aggressive.”

Chimp Haven’s Behavior and Enrichment team is dedicated to successfully matching every Chimp Haven retiree with a social group. With a fresh start, new settings, space to move around, and a variety of chimp personalities to choose from, they are able to find a perfect match for every retiree.

Today Hamlet lives in a group of 21 chimps, including six of our newest arrivals. In 2019, they bonded over exploring one of Chimp Haven’s forested habitats.

At Chimp Haven, chimps retired from research experience the joys they would have enjoyed in the wild: climbing trees, living in large, bonded social groups, eating their favorite fruits, running, playing, exploring, and — best of all — choosing how they spend their days.

We want every chimp to experience life at sanctuary, and now is our moment. You can be part of this historic effort to bring them home once and for all.