With 31 new chimps joining us at the sanctuary so far this year, the Chimp Haven family has now grown to nearly 300 chimpanzees. As we prepare for more new arrivals this fall, we continue to make progress toward our sanctuary expansion to make room for chimpanzees who still remain in research facilities waiting to come to Chimp Haven.
This summer, we reached an exciting milestone in our expansion journey with the completion of the first of two 15,000 square foot corrals, and recently, the very first chimp group to call the corral home moved in!
Slim’s group is unique in that it’s led by a trio of strong women and also contains several active adolescents – including Quilla, Riley, and Onyx – who we knew would love exploring a big new space like the corral.
The group entered their new digs in two groups: Five chimps entered the first day to get settled and were joined by the remaining six the next day. Early in the morning, with care staff watching on, the first five chimps made their way through the chute system from their existing enclosure to the new corral.
Quilla was the first group’s fearless leader, climbing up to the top of the corral platforms to get a good look at her new space. The youngsters took full advantage of their first day in their new home, happily testing out all of the hammocks, fire hoses, and platforms one by one.
One exciting feature of the new corral is “flex mesh” which allows the chimps to easily view their surroundings. The chimps already seem to love that the mesh allows them to more easily “supervise” care staff and construction crews as they go about their work, while also offering a wonderful view of the lush forest that surrounds the corral.
After the very first night, staff discovered hay in one of the hammocks, which means one of the chimps in the group decided to make their nest outdoors under the stars!
We’ve also been pleasantly surprised by how much “Auntie Angela” (also known as “Big Ang”) loves the new corral. Angela has never been one to be more active than she has to be, but the new space seems to have motivated her to get moving! Staff has spotted her walking the perimeter frequently and even spending time climbing up to the highest platform.
It’s been a true joy to watch the chimps discover their new space – a space that wouldn’t have been possible without your support. But we’re not done yet!
In the coming months, we’ll continue work to expand the sanctuary – including another 15,000 square foot corral and three new multi-acre habitats – in order to make room for more chimps slated to arrive from research facilities.
We still need your support to create these beautiful new homes for the chimps. Learn more about how you can be part of the Welcome Them Home expansion project.