More chimpanzees to move to sanctuary in 2019 and beyond

More chimpanzees to move to sanctuary in 2019 and beyond

Anonymous major donation helps secure a future for more chimps awaiting retirement

 KEITHVILLE, La., Jan. 18, 2019 – More than 200 chimpanzees still living in research facilities are now one step closer to sanctuary retirement thanks to a $2 million donation to Chimp Haven, the national chimpanzee sanctuary in Louisiana. The gift was made at the end of the year by an anonymous supporter who is deeply committed to the cause and supports Chimp Haven’s “Welcome Them Home” campaign, a concerted effort to build more habitats and expand veterinary care suites to accommodate the chimps’ transitions from research facilities.

“It’s very exciting to begin 2019 with such a generous contribution to chimpanzee wellbeing,” said Rana Smith, president and chief executive officer of Chimp Haven. “Donors like this make it clear that people are deeply committed to the retirement of former research chimpanzees. This national effort is as important as ever, which is why we’re working diligently to expand our habitats and give these chimps the sanctuary retirement they deserve.”

Chimp Haven is a private, nonprofit refuge on 200 acres of forested land in Northwest Louisiana. It’s home to more than 260 chimps already retired from biomedical research. While federal funds cover a crucial portion of the lifetime care of these government-owned chimps, the organization relies entirely on the generosity of donors to cover the construction necessary to welcome even more retirees into Chimp Haven’s care.

The expansion, which includes new forested habitats and open-air enclosures, will enrich the lives of retirees with new spaces to play, explore and interact. Additionally, it provides ample space for Chimp Haven to accommodate chimpanzees still waiting for sanctuary retirement. The $2 million donation follows a recent $10 million gift from the Walter Family Foundation, bringing Chimp Haven closer to its fundraising goal. Further support is needed to complete the project and transition more chimps out of research facilities to sanctuary retirement where they can enjoy an abundance of opportunities for play, exploration, and relaxation.

For information about how you can support Chimp Haven’s historic efforts to offer a refuge for more retired chimpanzees, visit

About Chimp Haven

Chimp Haven, the national chimpanzee sanctuary, is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that serves as a refuge for chimpanzees, most of whom were retired from biomedical research. Located on 200 acres of rich forested land near Shreveport, Louisiana, the sanctuary is home to more than 260 chimpanzees who are able to live out the rest of their lives in comfortable retirement. The sanctuary is dedicated to meeting the needs of its chimps. It is made up of a wide range of dynamic habitats for the chimpanzees, including multiple acres of natural forests for them to explore. More information can be found at