Road to Chimp Haven


Chimp Haven announces The Road to Chimp Haven Campaign: Retiring the New Iberia 110, a movement dedicated to retiring the 110 chimpanzees from the New Iberia Research Center to Chimp Haven, a sanctuary that provides lifetime care for chimpanzees no longer used in biomedical research.

This September, Chimp Haven was made aware of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) plans to remove 110 federally-owned chimpanzees from the New Iberia Research Center in Southern Louisiana. The NIH determined that none of the chimpanzees would be eligible for further medical testing, and 100 would be transferred to Texas Biomedical Research Institute of San Antonio, Texas. Initial plans made by NIH also included retiring 10 of the chimpanzees to Chimp Haven. However, the CHIMP Act passed in 2000 indicates that any government-owned chimpanzees no longer needed for research would be retired to the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary which is operated by Chimp Haven. As a result, Chimp Haven has been working diligently with the NIH and other organizations to come up with a plan to retire all 110 chimpanzees to the northwest Louisiana facility.

“Chimp Haven’s goal is to give all of the chimpanzees who are no longer used in research the opportunity to live out the rest of their lives in our sanctuary. We have been collaborating with the NIH to develop the best approach and long term plan to retire all 110 chimpanzees from New Iberia,” Dr. Linda Brent, Chimp Haven President and Director, said. The proposed plans include the immediate retirement of as many chimpanzees as possible into existing space. Completion of partially constructed enclosures is also required which will allow the sanctuary to house all of the chimpanzees permanently.

“To ensure that the 110 chimpanzees are able to retire to the sanctuary, we are reaching out to our community through the Road to Chimp Haven Campaign.” Brent said. “This fund will provide housing and care for the 110 New Iberia chimpanzees and sets the stage for further expansion of the Chimp Haven facilities.”

The proposed construction is part of Chimp Haven’s master expansion plan to accommodate more than 400 chimpanzees in the future. The immediate construction needed to house the 110 chimpanzees includes six play yards and one open-air enclosure and is estimated at $2.6 million. The work can be completed in 4-5 months once funds are available. A second phase of the expansion plan includes a $2.5 million project to construct a dedicated quarantine building and additional housing for more chimpanzees who are anticipated to be retired in the near future. The newly retired chimpanzees will have room to live in large social groups where they can relax and explore their environment freely.

Not only will the chimpanzees benefit from living at Chimp Haven, but the retirement of the “New Iberia 110” will also positively impact the economy in the northwest region of Louisiana.

“Retiring the chimpanzees to Chimp Haven will allow the organization to invest in the regional community by providing 16 new jobs and approximately $1.2 million in annual spending,” Brent said. “This will set a precedent for more retired chimpanzees who should be coming to Chimp Haven in the future, creating an even greater economic opportunity.”

To donate to The Road to Chimp Haven Campaign please click here.