Dr. Jane Goodall Makes Historic First Visit to the U.S. National Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Dr. Jane Goodall Makes Historic First Visit to the U.S. National Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Dr. Goodall met with experts from leading retirement refuge for former research chimpanzees

KEITHVILLE, La., Apr. 20, 2018 – World famous chimpanzee champion Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace, traveled to Shreveport, La. on Saturday, April 14 to visit Chimp Haven for the first time. The visit represents Dr. Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute‘s commitment to and expertise in chimpanzee welfare, as well as a part of collective efforts to advocate on behalf of all chimpanzees in the United States formerly used for biomedical research being given proper retirement accommodations at the sanctuary. Chimp Haven, the private, non-profit animal welfare organization serves as the national chimpanzee sanctuary for more than 230 chimpanzees retired from National Institutes of Health medical research facilities.

Dr. Goodall met with animal care specialists and toured the 200-acre facility, located in densely forested park land where the chimpanzees are offered a serene and enriching retirement experience.

“It was wonderful to finally see Chimp Haven and how its chimpanzees thrive in large social groups with access to real trees and forests,” said Dr. Goodall. “Chimpanzees are so like people. They deserve to live with dignity and have our respect.”

Dr. Goodall is best known for her groundbreaking research and publications on wild chimpanzees in Gombe, Tanzania, and as the first to introduce the observations that chimpanzees have distinct personalities and behaviors, like those of humans, into the scientific world. Her findings and the continued nearly 60 years of research (the longest running wild primate study in the world) and 40 years of conservation through the Jane Goodall Institute, consistently demonstrate the complexity, intelligence and similarities to human social behavior of chimpanzees. Today, Dr. Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute work to build an informed citizenry to protect chimpanzees, conserve their habitat and to advocate for proper care of these beings in sanctuaries and other facilities around the globe.

One of the reasons chimpanzees were used for biomedical research trials for decades was because of that similarity, and the assumption that they could make parallels to human health through experimentation. In 2013, the National Institutes of Health determined it would no longer support invasive research on them, as it was assessed that there was in fact no adequate benefit to continued

research, and that remaining chimps in NIH labs would be retired to sanctuary. Today, throughout the United States, there are more than 550 chimpanzees living in accredited sanctuaries. Yet, nearly the same number are still waiting in cages inside of research facilities for the funding that will enable them to join the happy, healthy communities of chimpanzees enjoying life in sanctuary care.

Chimp Haven, which is nearing capacity, is currently in a $20 million capital fundraising campaign to expand its habitats and veterinary facilities to accommodate the retirement of more than 100 additional chimpanzees over the next few years.

“We were thrilled to enjoy a visit from a conservation visionary like Dr. Jane Goodall and her organization, the Jane Goodall Institute, to Chimp Haven and its chimpanzees,” said Rana Smith, CEO of Chimp Haven. “We were able to discuss our common goals of conserving and protecting the species for generations to come.”

To learn more about chimpanzee retirement, and how the public can help transition more former research chimps to sanctuary, please visit chimphaven.org.

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 230 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 chimphaven.org.

About the Jane Goodall Institute:

The Jane Goodall Institute, established in 1977 by Dr. Jane Goodall, is a non-profit organization which supports and advances wildlife research, education and conservation. The Jane Goodall Institute promotes understanding and protection of great apes and their habitats through community-centered conservation, and builds on Dr. Goodall’s legacy to inspire individual action by people of all ages to help animals, other people, and to protect the world we all share. For more information, visit janegoodall.org.