ST. LUCIE COUNTY (wqcs) – It will be a Happy New Year at the Save the Chimps Sanctuary west of Fort Pierce. The last 10 chimps rescued from the Coulson Foundation biomedical research lab in New Mexico arrived on December 14th after a 2-thousand mile journey in a custom-built 38-foot trailer. Nine other chimps made the same trip two weeks before that. Thus the Great Chimpanzee Migration from New Mexico to Florida is completed after almost 10 years.
Now about 300 chimps roam freely on 12 man-made islands on the St. Lucie County site, which is the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary. The chimps were rescued from research labs, the U.S. space program, show business and the pet trade or are the descendants. Genetically speaking, chimpanzees are 97 percent similar to humans. That’s why so many have been used for biomedical research – and sometimes misused. And that is probably why we are so fascinated by their behavior and physical characteristics. In many ways, they are just like us. The sanctuary is closed to the public. But you can learn more about it by going to savethechimps.org. That’s save-the-chimps – all one word – dot o-r-g. For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch. © Copyright 2012.