FAQs

1. Are the chimpanzees at Chimp Haven healthy?
2. Why don’t chimpanzees make good pets?
3. How long do chimpanzees live?
4. Will research be conducted on the chimpanzees at Chimp Haven?
5. Are the chimpanzees on birth control?
6. Where do the chimpanzees come from?
7. What are the chances of the chimpanzees escaping from the facility?
8. Can the chimpanzees be returned to medical research?

1. Are the chimpanzees at Chimp Haven healthy?

Given that most of the chimpanzees are elderly and have spent decades as research subjects in biomedical studies, many suffer from various health conditions. Similar to human populations, our chimpanzees have heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, arthritis, and other ailments. Chimp Haven’s veterinary staff provides expert medical care and appropriate medication to treat the chimpanzees. The behavior staff monitors the psychological health and behavior of the chimpanzees as well.

2. Why don’t chimpanzees make good pets?

Chimpanzees are wild, not domestic, animals. Chimpanzees may live as long as 50 to 60 years. When chimpanzees are infants, they are totally dependent on the human surrogate parent as they would be with their biological mother. By the age of five or six, the cute, helpless infant grows too strong and clever to handle. A mature chimpanzee possesses seven to 10 times the strength of a human. At this point, the surrogate-parent typically locks the chimpanzee in a cage. When chimpanzees are taken from their mothers as infants and continue to live in species-isolation, they do not develop appropriate social behaviors and communication skills. As a result, human-raised chimpanzees can no longer live with their human family and cannot easily adjust to life with other chimpanzees. A pet chimpanzee is usually a tragedy for all involved.

3. How long do chimpanzees live?

Chimpanzees may live as long as 50 to 60 years.

4. Will research be conducted on the chimpanzees at Chimp Haven?

No. Invasive medical research is prohibited and strict rules and policies govern studies conducted at the sanctuary to ensure the well-being of the chimpanzee residents. Students and behavioral scientists, however, are allowed to observe the chimpanzees in order to learn more about their needs and how to better enhance their lives within sanctuary settings.

5. Are the chimpanzees on birth control?

All of our male chimpanzees have had vasectomies. To the best of our ability, we try to prevent pregnancies from occurring so that we are not contributing to the problem of lifetime care for surplus chimpanzees. However, in 2007, Tracy the product of a failed vasectomy, was born. She will remain at Chimp Haven throughout her life.

6. Where do the chimpanzees come from?

Chimp Haven provides homes for chimpanzees no longer used as research subjects, entertainers, or pets from across the U.S.

7. What are the chances of the chimpanzees escaping from the facility?

Experts in the care and management of chimpanzees, along with exhibit and laboratory designers, have designed tried-and-true methods of housing at Chimp Haven that greatly minimize the possibility of escape. In addition to a structurally secure facility, there are stringent staff security protocols and after-hours security.

8. Can the chimpanzees be returned to medical research?

No. All of the chimpanzees at Chimp Haven are permanently retired and cannot be returned to medical research. In 2007, Congress passed the Chimp Haven is Home Act which states that retired chimpanzees living at Chimp Haven will not be removed for medical research.