Message from the President (September 2018)

What's Chimping

We can’t be the only ones happy to see September – it’s been a hot summer at the sanctuary! Of course, the chimps have kept cool by enjoying plenty of extra naps in the shade and a few sugar-free popsicles in the afternoon, but we know they’re happy to see fall on the horizon too.

Cooler weather isn’t the only reason we’re looking forward to fall, though: we also have new arrivals on the way! This fall we’ll welcome nearly 20 new retirees to the sanctuary, and we can’t wait to introduce them to you and show them what the Chimp Life is all about.

While more than 250 current residents are currently enjoying their retirement at Chimp Haven, there are still more than 200 chimpanzees in research facilities, waiting for their turn to come to sanctuary. Chimp Haven is committed to working with the federal government and research facilities to transfer the chimpanzees as quickly and safely as possible, but there are currently many challenges in getting them here.

Some research facilities have attempted to convince the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the public that chimpanzees should retire in place, at the research facility, while another facility has delayed the transport of more than 50 chimpanzees they have deemed too fragile to transport. We feel strongly that all chimps deserve sanctuary retirement and we certainly don’t want to leave any behind unnecessarily. We propose that these chimps should be evaluated by an independent veterinarian and behaviorist to ensure they receive a fair chance to come to Chimp Haven.

As we work through these issues, we are aware that the clock is ticking for these chimps. Your ongoing support will help us welcome them home as quickly as possible and ensure that every last chimp in research gets their chance to experience life at the sanctuary.

To that end, we continue to make great progress on a big expansion that will help us make space for the chimpanzees remaining in research facilities. This summer, enclosures and moats for three new, multi-acre forested habitats were installed and work began on new state-of-the-art veterinary suites that will help our team keep the retirees healthy and thriving. We’re in the middle of raising funds for this important expansion, which is on track to be completed in Fall 2019. We would love to have your support as we make the space to bring all remaining research chimps home. Learn more about how you can help at

Thank you for your continued support of our more than 250 happy retirees (and counting!). We look forward to celebrating with you as the sanctuary grows and welcomes more chimpanzees in the coming months.

Rana Smith, President & CEO