FAQs

1. What is Chimp Haven?
2. What credentials does Chimp Haven have to run a chimpanzee sanctuary?
3. Why is there a need for Chimp Haven?
4. Are there other facilities like Chimp Haven in the United States?
5. Where is the sanctuary located?
6. What makes the Northwest Louisiana location special?
7. Is Chimp Haven open to the public?
8. What kind of veterinary care is available to the chimpanzees?
9. Why was Chimp Haven awarded a contract by NIH to build a sanctuary for its laboratory
chimpanzees?
10. How many chimpanzees can the facility hold when all the phases are completed?
11. What is the CHIMP ACT and how has it affected Chimp Haven?
12. What is the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary System?

1. What is Chimp Haven?

Chimp Haven is a permanent retirement sanctuary for chimpanzees no longer used as research subjects, entertainers, or pets.

2. What credentials does Chimp Haven have to run a chimpanzee sanctuary?

Chimp Haven’s Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and associated professionals represent the country’s experts in the care and management of captive chimpanzees. Chimp Haven is also made up of knowledgeable staff from a variety of backgrounds including laboratories, zoos, and animal welfare. It is significant to note that Chimp Haven has expertise in addressing the unique requirements for the care of chimpanzees who have been exposed to infectious agents.

3. Why is there a need for Chimp Haven?

Over the years, there has been a decrease in the use of chimpanzees for medical research due to changing protocols and technological advances. The result of their diminished use in laboratories is that many chimpanzees need a professionally run sanctuary in which to retire. Those chimpanzees who have been exposed to the HIV virus or hepatitis need a facility that can address their specific medical needs. Chimp Haven is the only sanctuary in the U.S. that is able to manage such chimpanzees. Also, privately owned chimpanzees no longer wanted as pets or as performers need humane retirement homes.

4. Are there other facilities like Chimp Haven in the United States?

Chimp Haven is the only chimpanzee sanctuary in the United States that works in partnership with the United States government to care for its retired laboratory chimpanzees. There are, however, other professionally run chimpanzee and primate facilities in the United States. They are members of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA).

5. Where is the sanctuary located?

Chimp Haven is located on 200 acres of forest in the Eddie D. Jones Nature Park, 20 miles southwest of Shreveport, Louisiana.

6. What makes the Shreveport location special?

The climate and ecology in this area are optimal for the chimpanzees. The forested habitat provides opportunities for the chimpanzees to express species-typical behaviors, such as nest building and tool use.

7. Is Chimp Haven open to the public?

Chimp Haven is open to the public on a limited number of days each year for our Education Program – Chimpanzee Discovery Days. Dates and times vary so please check the website before visiting.

8. What kind of veterinary care is available to the chimpanzees?

The facility employs the full-time services of a veterinarian and two veterinary technicians. Veterinary care is available to the chimpanzees 24/7.

9. Why was Chimp Haven awarded a contract by NIH to build a sanctuary for its laboratory chimpanzees?

Chimp Haven participated in a highly competitive, rigorous application process that included review of both operations and construction plans by qualified chimpanzee and animal care experts. NIH selected Chimp Haven as the organization best able to fulfill the standards of the CHIMP Act.

10. How many chimpanzees can the facility hold when all the phases are completed?

Chimp Haven can care for approximately 140 chimpanzees. There is ample space to expand housing to about 400 chimpanzees when financial resources are available for construction and chimpanzee care.

11. What is the CHIMP ACT and how has it affected Chimp Haven?

After years of effort by many organizations, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Chimpanzee Health, Improvement, Maintenance and Protection (CHIMP) Act (P.L. 106-551) in December 2000. The law provides support for the construction of chimpanzee sanctuaries and for the lifetime care of the animals through funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as required matching private support.
In May 2001, Chimp Haven submitted a capability statement to NIH, indicating its interest in becoming the organization to construct and operate the sanctuary system for chimpanzees. Following a rigorous selection process, NIH announced in September 2002 that Chimp Haven was selected to do just that.

12. What is the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary System?

The CHIMP Act required the creation of sanctuaries to provide lifetime care for chimpanzees retired from federally funded research. This sanctuary system is funded partially from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as private support.