Published on May 25, 2016, by KSLA Staff
KEITHVILLE, LA (KSLA) –
The wait is over for 19 chimpanzees who have been waiting at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute for retirement at The National Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Chimp Haven.
“We are excited to welcome 19 new chimpanzees to the sanctuary,” Chimp Haven President and CEO Cathy Willis Spraetz said. “These chimps are the first of this year’s many new retirees. It is our honor to be able to care for them and offer them the opportunity to enjoy the rich landscape and perks of being at Chimp Haven.”
The 19 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, 32 chimpanzees have made their way to Chimp Haven, with hundreds more waiting.
“We are working diligently and as quickly as possible with sending institutions and the National Institutes of Health to continue the process of relocating chimpanzees from laboratories to sanctuary,” Spraetz said. “While the process may seem lengthy, it is our number one goal to ensure that each chimpanzee is safely transported so that they may enjoy and thrive in their retirement home. I am so pleased that we have had the opportunity to work closely with staff from the Texas Biomedical Research Institute who have contributed their expertise and staff support to ensure a successful transfer for the chimps.”
“We are honored and grateful to have received a grant from the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund of New Mexico Community Foundation which will go toward the cost of care for the 19 chimpanzees for their first year in retirement,” Spraetz said. “With help from generous supporters like them, we will continue our efforts and plan to accept at least 50 more this year.”
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.
For several individual chimpanzee stories, please see attachment. To schedule an interview, contact Ashley Gordon at 318.925.5793 or [email protected]. For more information on Chimp Haven, visit chimphaven.org.