Chimp Haven is located on 200 beautiful forested acres outside of Shreveport, Louisiana.
The Chimp Life
Outside Shreveport, Louisiana, on 200 acres of beautiful, forested sanctuary, more than 300 chimpanzees, many of whom were used in biomedical research, are living the good life — or, as we like to call it, the Chimp Life.
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 believe we’re not that different, humans and chimpanzees. As our closest living relatives, chimps share more than 98 percent of our genetic blueprint, and upon visiting the sanctuary it doesn’t take long to see that they have all the personalities, emotions, relationships, dramas, and joys that we do.
Where it all Began
Chimp Haven was founded in 1995 to meet the need for long-term chimpanzee care, and soon after, Caddo Parish donated the land that would bring the vision for the sanctuary to life.
When Congress passed the Chimpanzee Health Improvement Maintenance and Protection (CHIMP) Act, a federal sanctuary system to provide lifetime care for chimpanzees retired from medical research was needed. The National Institutes of Health chose Chimp Haven to fill the role.
Over the past twenty years, Chimp Haven has welcomed hundreds of chimpanzees to sanctuary, and more than 300 chimps currently call it home.
About the Chimps
Because chimpanzees are our closest biological relative, they were once considered a good medical model for research on illnesses and diseases that affect people, from HIV to hepatitis and more.
Chimpanzees contributed to hundreds of medical studies, and in 2015, the National Institutes of Health announced it was officially ending the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research, opening the door for hundreds of chimps to retire to Chimp haven.
Today more than 300 chimpanzees call the sanctuary home, nearly all of whom were previously used in biomedical research. The chimps vary in age from pre-teens to those in their 60s, with an average age of 35.
Chimp Haven is a private, nonprofit organization that depends significantly on the generosity of individuals to help cover the cost of chimpanzee care. Chimp Haven receives government funding to support 75 percent of the care of federally-owned chimpanzees, and must raise the remaining 25 percent of funds for the chimpanzees’ care through private support.
Chimp Haven relies on the generosity of private funders to provide the chimps with everything they need in retirement. The cost of the high level of care Chimp Haven is known for has risen to $25,000 per chimp per year, up from $17,000 two years ago. This includes their food, medical care, enrichment, and all of the basic necessities for these extraordinary individuals.
Additionally, Chimp Haven does not receive any government funding to improve, expand, or add more chimpanzee habitats or veterinary suites to provide care for additional chimpanzees. Without the generous support from individuals, corporations, foundations, and organizations Chimp Haven could not provide the chimpanzees with the retirement they deserve.