History

The Incredible Story of the World’s Largest Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Narrated by Advisory Council Member, Academy Award Winner, and chimpanzee advocate Anjelica Huston.

Chimps endured electric shock, extreme G-forces, and challenging physical conditions.

Chimpanzees were used in the U.S. space program for testing equipment and survivability starting in the late 1950s. For the next four decades, they and their descendants became biomedical research test subjects, used for space-related experimentation, disease research, toxicology experiments, experimental surgeries, and breeding. Save the Chimps was founded to provide a home for chimpanzees once used by the U.S. Air Force for research purposes. When you adopt Garfield and Jennifer you support these former Air Force chimps and help fund the effort to retire those that remain locked in cages.

75% of chimps in captivity in the U.S. have or continue to be living in biomedical research laboratories

Research on chimpanzees began in the 1920s and expanded to a peak in the 1990s with as many as 1500 chimpanzees living in at least 11 different private or government labs in the U.S. There has been modest decline to about 850 as a number of them have been transferred to sanctuaries. Adopt Bobby, Elway, Jaybee, Pumpkin, Rufus, or Scarlett – all chimps used in research – and learn their stories. Take a look at what life was like inside the Coulston Foundation.  View a timeline of the retirement of chimps in research. Read more on Chimps in Laboratories.

Chimpanzees in entertainment are far from living a glamorous life.

Chimps used in entertainment are taken from their mothers at birth, taught unnatural behaviors and tricks by force until they become too dangerous to work with anymore. When their careers are over, they end up in poor conditions in roadside zoos or used as breeders. A lucky few end up in sanctuaries. Make a symbolic adoption of Terry who was saved from the entertainment industry.

Keeping a chimpanzee as a pet is not a rewarding experience for the chimp or the people.

Chimpanzee babies sold in the pet trade are taken from their mothers at birth – a traumatic life event for both the mother and the baby. The baby soon grows out of their adorable stage and become dangerous and destructive. Most people find they can’t manage the chimp. So many lives of former pet chimps include poor living conditions and often tragic endings. You can make a symbolic adoption of April – a former pet who now lives safely at Save the Chimps.