Ten new chimpanzees traveled from Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico to begin their retirement at Chimp Haven, The National Chimpanzee Sanctuary, just in time for the holidays.

“The wait is over for these chimpanzees,” Chimp Haven President and CEO Cathy Willis Spraetz said. “They are the first to arrive from the Alamogordo Primate Facility and it is our honor to be able to care for them and offer them the retirement they so richly deserve.”

The 10 new arrivals are part of more than 360 federally owned chimpanzees who were retired from research in 2013 by the National Institutes of Health. Since the 2013 announcement, 51 chimpanzees have made their way to Chimp Haven, with hundreds more waiting.

“We are excited to end the year with new residents,” Willis Spraetz said. “Next year will bring many more chimpanzees to Chimp Haven and we are preparing for their arrival. While the process may appear to be lengthy, our number one goal is to ensure the safety of the chimps as they are transported to their new home. We will be working closely with the Alamogordo Primate Facility staff to ensure that each chimp arrives safely.”

In addition to the new arrivals, Chimp Haven has also received a grant from the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund, New Mexico Community Foundation to care for 25 Alamogordo chimps for one year.

“We are honored and grateful to have received a grant from the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund, New Mexico Community Foundation,” Spraetz said. “We invite others to help us care for the more than 100 chimps who are waiting to make their way to Chimp Haven from Alamogordo, as well as the other 200 plus residents currently at our sanctuary.”

Since taking in its first two chimpanzees in 2005, Chimp Haven has been home to more than 300 chimps, most of whom have been used in research. The sanctuary’s primary focus now is expanding to make room for even more chimps who are waiting to call the 200-acre property home.

About Chimp Haven: Chimp Haven, the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary, is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to provide  and promote the best care of sanctuary chimpanzees and inspire action for the species worldwide . Located 25 miles southwest of Shreveport, La., in the Eddie D. Jones Park in Caddo Parish, Chimp Haven opened its doors to the first residents in April 2005.