Chimp Haven and Lincoln Park Zoo have joined hands in the first accredited zoo-sanctuary partnership to benefit chimpanzees in human care. The unprecedented partnership has come to life after years of collaboration between the two distinguished organizations.
Chimp Haven, the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary and a Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) and AAALAC International accredited organization and Lincoln Park Zoo, accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), will combine ideas and resources to promote the best care for chimpanzees.
“We’re thrilled to work more formally with Lincoln Park Zoo and to continue to care for chimpanzees both now and in the future,” said Chimp Haven President and CEO Cathy Willis Spraetz. “This research will give us new insights on how to continually promote chimpanzee welfare and provide optimal care.”
As part of the partnership, Lincoln Park Zoo’s Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes has a full-time research scientist, Bethany K. Hansen, Ph.D., based at Chimp Haven in Louisiana. Hansen will be studying the chimpanzees’ behavior and social relationships. Additionally, the organizations will work together to evaluate and enhance education programs by conducting surveys and research with Chimp Haven visitors during its Chimpanzee Discovery Days.
“In a world where chimpanzees face a multitude of challenges, it is critical we do everything in our power to learn about these animals and how to best care for and conserve them,” said Director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes Stephen Ross, Ph.D. “We’re honored to work with Chimp Haven to continue to combat these issues and inspire others to do the same.”
Together, these leaders in chimpanzee care and science will leverage their institutional strengths to grow and develop innovative science and education programs for the benefit of chimpanzees worldwide.
“This important partnership between an accredited zoo and an accredited sanctuary is further evidence that we are in the midst of a new, compassionate era in our treatment of chimpanzees,” says Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “Chimpanzees are amazing animals, and these two organizations are helping to define how best to learn from them, educate about them and most importantly, to care for them.”
This collaboration is made possible in part by a three-year grant from the Arcus Foundation, an organization that supports great ape care and conservation initiatives worldwide. Arcus Foundation continues to work to increase recognition of and respect for the intrinsic value of great apes and supports efforts to increase knowledge and develop best practices for apes in human care.