KEITHVILLE, La. – The retirement-eligible chimpanzees still living in research facilities are now one step closer to sanctuary retirement thanks to an anonymous $1 million matching gift to Chimp Haven, the national chimpanzee sanctuary in Louisiana home to more than 300 retired chimpanzees.
The gift supports Chimp Haven’s “Welcome Them Home” campaign, a $20 million effort to construct more forested habitats, expanded veterinary care suites and new food storage and meal prep areas to accommodate the remaining chimps awaiting retirement to the large forested sanctuary.
“It’s incredibly exciting to approach the year-end with such a generous contribution that pushes us closer to our goal of retiring all eligible chimpanzees to Chimp Haven as quickly as possible,” said Rana Smith, president and chief executive officer of Chimp Haven. “This national effort is set to be a historic moment for chimpanzees in our country, which is why we’re working diligently to complete our expansion and give these chimps the peaceful sanctuary retirement they deserve.”
Chimp Haven is a private, nonprofit sanctuary on 200 acres of forested land in Northwest Louisiana, home to more than 300 chimpanzees, most of whom are retired from medical research facilities. There are retirement-eligible chimps still living in research facilities and awaiting transition to the sanctuary.
The “Welcome Them Home” campaign has raised more than $17 million to date, entering the final stretch to reach the total goal. The anonymous million-dollar matching gift marks a milestone in the campaign and provides supporters an opportunity to double the impact of their contribution, but further support is still needed to welcome more chimpanzees into the sanctuary’s care and complete the expansion project, the facility's officials said in a news release.
The expansion, which includes new forested habitats, open-air corrals and veterinary care suites, will enrich the lives of retirees with new spaces to play, explore and interact and provide essential upgrades to ensure the sanctuary staff can continue meeting the needs of its growing, complex family for many years to come.
For information about how to double support of Chimp Haven’s efforts, visit http://www.chimphaven.org/welcomethemhome. To learn more about Chimp Haven and its retirees, stream “Meet the Chimps”, a six-part documentary series from National Geographic offering a rare glimpse inside our one-of-a-kind sanctuary, now on Disney+.