Donate Today

Your donation helps provide care for the nearly 250 chimpanzees with:

  • three daily meals of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • first-rate medical care
  • enrichment activities that encourage natural behaviors

Donated funds:

  • help maintain the 12 three-acre island homes
  • allow chimps space and freedom to wander to their hearts content

Ways to Give:

Ask a Primatologist

Save the Chimps Director of Chimpanzee Care Services Dr. Andrew R. Halloran also researches wild chimpanzees in Sierra Leone.

Here is your chance to ask what you have always wondered!

Q.  I was wondering what are some interesting facts about this chimpanzee and also what can I do as a 7th grade student to help this animal? Stav from Brussels

Hi Stav. Great to hear from you! I’m so happy to hear about  your interest in chimpanzees and Chimpanzee conservation. I am currently at my site in Sierra Leone where we are trying to find ways to protect chimpanzees in habitats that are heavily fragmented – where chimpanzees must go into farms to find food in order to survive. The problem is that the humans in these areas need to protect their farms. Additionally, the chimps can be very dangerous to humans (they have injured and even killed people here in the past. This has led to a very hostile relationship between humans and chimpanzees. To make things worse, as the chimp habitat gets smaller, there are more and more interactions with humans – which almost always end negatively. I am working on ways to mitigate these conflicts so that the chimpanzees do not get killed at the hands of the local humans. To answer your last question, as a 7th grader you can do what you are doing – calling attention to conservation issues facing chimpanzees and educating those around you that chimpanzees are a species in their own right – a species that needs resources, social companionship, and a viable habitat to survive. They are not just little almost-humans that entertain us. To answer your first question, what fascinates me most is that chimpanzees are so resilient. They can figure out how to survive everything from an imperiled habitat (such as this one in Sierra Leone) to horrifying captive experiences (like some of the chimpanzees at Save The Chimps). Best of luck in you project and thanks for writing!

Q.  My twelve year old son is wondering what are the top predators of chimpanzee in the wild? And how smart are Chimps compared to humans? From Jonathon B. on Facebook

A. The top predator for chimpanzees are, unfortunately, humans. Humans kill wild chimpanzee’s for a number of reasons: some people eat them, some people use them in ritual practices, some people kill them because they are very dangerous and have hurt people in their community, some people kill them to defend their crops (chimpanzees often raid farms and steal crops). This situation has been exacerbated by deforestation across Africa, which has squeezed populations of chimpanzees into small forest fragments and pushed them closer to human villages. To answer your second question – chimpanzees, as I’m sure you know, are extremely intelligent, but I am always careful to try and not compare chimpanzee intelligence to human intelligence. It can be very different – equally complex, but different. For example, some studies have shown an even stronger memory and quick recall ability in chimpanzees. However, a chimpanzee will never be able to design a computer or a rocket. This doesn’t mean they are “less intelligent” – only that the way their brains function is different.

Q. It is clear that chimps mourn, but can they shed tears?

A. Though chimpanzees can produce tears, humans are the only species known to shed them emotionally.

Q. How many subspecies of chimpanzees are there? From Neil L. on Twitter

There are 4 subspecies of chimps. They are divided by geography. In West Africa, the Chimps are Pan troglodytes verus. In Central Africa, in places like Gabon and the Republic of Congo, the chimps are Pan troglodytes troglodytes. In Tanzania, Jane Goodall studied a subspecies called Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii. Existing only along the Nigeria-Cameroon border is a subspecies called Pan troglodytes ellioti. Most captive chimpanzees in the US that you might see in a zoo are verus.

Q. How do wild chimps maintain their healthy teeth and gums?  From Clare S. on Facebook

A. Wild chimpanzees often do NOT have healthy teeth and gums. In fact, one of the things that chimpanzees at places like Save the Chimps benefit from is having access to stellar veterinary care. At STC, things like tooth abscesses and cavities are identified quickly and fixed. In the wild, these things can kill a Chimpanzee. It’s one of the reasons that chimps in captivity tend to have a longer life span. Having said that, it’s not all rotten teeth in the wild.  A wild chimpanzee’s diet does a great deal for maintaining healthy dentition. For example, out here at the site in Sierra Leone, the chimpanzees primarily subsist off of fruits with very large pits. When the chimpanzees eat these fruits they also consume and chew on the hard pits. The pits do a good job in scraping clean their teeth. Call it nature’s toothbrush.

Q. Do you see an evolutionary change in the wild resulting from our interference?  From Susan S. on Facebook

A. Great question! We are currently living in an epoch of time that ecologists and anthropologists have termed “the anthropocene” – which is a period where most life on Earth is affected in some way by the existence of humans on the planet (think of penguins that naturally live in southern South America migrating to the Antarctic peninsula due to warming ocean temperatures, then competing with the penguins that normally live in Antarctica). Wild chimpanzees have been extremely affected by the presence of humans – directly and indirectly. Due to deforestation across west Africa, chimpanzees have been squeezed in smaller forest fragments with high population densities. Frequently they live alongside human communities, and in turn, compete with human populations for resources. This has led to frequent encounters between humans and chimpanzees – a situation that usually ends badly for both parties. Many of these forest fragments do not have the nutritional components to support the Chimpanzee populations. However, in many cases, chimpanzees somehow figure it out! Chimps are “smart” enough to alter their strategies to survive in less than optimal environments. In the forest I am currently in, chimpanzees are nesting in the area of an abandoned village. In this area, they are nesting in large non-native fruit trees that were planted almost 100 years ago by the village. These trees give them an additional food source, a good nesting site, and an area where humans no longer go. It is this type of shift in strategy and behavior that is a direct result of human presence combined with Chimpanzee ingenuity. So to answer the question more directly, we see the evolution of ecological strategies in chimpanzees as a direct result of human presence.

Q. Are there matriarchal societies in the primate world? From Mark M. on Facebook

A. Yes, there are. Interesting examples are South American monkeys called Callitrichids (marmosets and tamarins). Instead of single offspring births, they give birth to multiple offspring  at a time. The mother is cared for by the males within the social group. In turn, she is dominant. Even chimp social groups have very dominant females that have a lot of pull within the group.

Q.  I’m wondering if chimps would eat junk food given the opportunity?  Anonymous

A. Most definitely! At Save the Chimps, we want to make sure that chimpanzees eat nutritious foods within a regulated chimpanzee diet. However, we also understand that, just like us, chimpanzees like to eat fun things as well. Because of this, we offer the occasional treat. To make sure that the treat isn’t more “junk” than”food”, all treats go through an approval process.

Q. Does the location of where a chimpanzee group lives effect what the group does or the tools they use? From Annie W.

A. Yes. There are a lot of studies geared towards looking at chimpanzee “culture” – basically looking at learned behaviors that are specific to a population. For example, not all chimpanzee groups will do “termite fishing” (termite fishing is a behavior first witnessed by Jane Goodall in Gombe – whereby a chimpanzee will strip a twig down in order to fit it into the holes of a termite mound – when they dip the twig into the mound, they are able to pull termite out and eat them). There are other examples of cultural too use as well – nut cracking with stone “hammers”, drinking water with a “sponge” of chewed up leaves, etc.

Something I have always been interested in is population-specific vocalizations. Chimpanzees in different groups will utilize different calls. There is a debate as to how significant this is, or whether or not these differences are due to learning, genetics, or acoustics. I tend to think that all three have some influence.

Q. Do you know what primate species is used in the snapchat filter? From Hallie on LinkedIn

A. I don’t know snapchat at all! Sorry – I am pretty old school. I still use a Blackberry!

Q. What do you do when bad weather events occur? Are the chimps brought into sanctuaries from the islands? From Connie W. on Facebook

A. Yes. Each island has a corresponding building with bedrooms where the chimpanzees eat their three meals a day (and many of them sleep). So getting everyone in for a storm is fairly easy – they are used to it. For Hurricane Irma, the chimpanzees all stayed inside. During some of the worst of it, I checked on everyone. Most of them were sleeping peacefully. Capone at Tanya’s building even seemed annoyed that I woke him up. 

June Birthdays

Who doesn’t love presents??
The chimps do and they  most definitely deserve them!

Visit our wishlist to send goodies for the chimps.
Big pant hoot thank you for your generosity and support!



June 1, 1992

Freddy 150x150


June 2, 1988
Huey 150x150


June 4, 1997

Kay 150x150


June 6, 1997
Walden 150x150


June 10, 1999

Wade 150x150


June 10, 1996

Yamili 150x150


June 13, 1970

Rebecca 150x150

Bam Bam

June 16, 1988

Bam Bam 150x150


June 19, 1973

Marc 150x150


June 20, 1985

Brandy 150x150


June 20, 1994

Sebastian 150x150


June 20, 1989

virgil 150x150


June 22, 1985



June 24, 2007

Leo 150x150


June 27, 1990

Mika 150x150


June 28, 1993

Nigida 150x150


June 29, 1987

Marissa 150x150

Lil’ Mini

June 29, 1993

Lil' Mini 150x150


Flat Elway Contest!

It’s that time of year again! Flat Elway is back! Print Flat Elway and take him on your summer vacation!

Prizes will be awarded for the following four categories: most unique photo, the furthest location from Save the Chimps, one photo at random, and the photo with the most reactions on our Facebook album.

We are always excited to see all the places ‪#‎FlatElway‬ will go and look forward to seeing his his new adventures.

Follow us on Facebook to see all the places Flat Elway goes!

Click image below for full-size version, then print.

Get to Know Garfield

Get to know me!

My name is Garfield and I was born on March 9, 1991 at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research to my mother Hope and father Eric. I stayed at Southwest until I was seven years old. In March 1998, I was sent to the Coulston Foundation. I remained at Coulston until Save the Chimps (STC) gained custody of me in 2001. I was a member of the Air Force Group, who were the first chimpanzee residents of STC. I was full of bravado and daring when I arrived, and did not hesitate to explore when my family was released onto the island.

I am a large and magnificent chimpanzee, if I do say so myself, and very “alpha.” I have lighter skin than most chimps, and a very prominent jaw. I’ve been told that I resemble my father, Eric. In 2003, three chimps were born in the Air Force Group, despite the fact that all of the males, including me, had been given vasectomies. It turns out that my vasectomy was unsuccessful, and genetic testing revealed that I am the biological father of all three babies: Jude, JB and Angie. My son Jude looks like his mother, Gogi, but JB and Angie are the spitting image of me. STC later rescued my brother Oliver, who also shares my unique facial features. 

Today, I am a high-ranking member of the group known as Doug’s Family, which includes my son JB and daughter Angie, as well as my best friend Billy. I was the alpha of the group but let my son, JB, take over the leadership role. 

You can help support Garfield with a symbolic adoption and you will receive a certificate, biography, update, and a beautiful portrait. Your $300 or $25 per month adoption provides Garfield with complete care for one week which includes three fresh, healthy meals of fruits and vegetables, loving daily care from specially-trained staff, and medical care from our veterinarians. It also helps us to maintain his beautiful island home and provide the many enrichment toys and activities that fulfill his life.

Make an adoption gift today.


Thank you for your support! 

World Lab Animal Day



April 24th is World Lab Animal Day, a time for us to remember our residents’ past and celebrate their future.

Many of our beloved chimpanzee residents were retired from laboratories. In honor of World Lab Animal Day, we would like to share some of the greatest moments we have experienced at Save the Chimps with you: the moments that we were able to open the doors to their new 3-acre island homes for the first time.

Many of our residents spent years, even decades, inside laboratories. The vast majority of the chimps in our care came from a lab called the Coulston Foundation, which was notorious for its extensive Animal Welfare Act violations and eventually came to the verge of bankruptcy due to their loss of government funding. When we entered the Coulston Foundation for the first time, many of the chimpanzees were living alone in windowless cages without any outdoor access.

Once the chimps arrived to our Florida sanctuary, we were never able to fully predict how they would react to suddenly having the freedom to walk outdoors and leave their cages behind. Most of the chimps living in the Coulston Foundation had never set foot on anything but concrete and steel. They had never seen grass, and at first many were quite apprehensive to touch this foreign substance.

Moesha, who was once a shy and timid chimp, surprised us all when she immediately explored her family’s island, even climbing to the top of the structures, taking in the view of the surrounding islands. Jack took full advantage of finally having room to run, and sprinted across his new island home. When Rufus was first released onto his island in Florida, he walked out a short distance and then started screaming in excitement and nervousness. He turned around and beckoned his family to join him, hugging as many of the other chimps as he could, asking them to join him in exploring the island. He wouldn’t go out alone, but with the support of his family, he happily ventured out into the Florida sunshine. Some chimps took longer to adapt to the feeling of wide open spaces. Teá was a bit wide-eyed and unsure about it all and stayed close to the entrance to her indoor area with her friend, Ryan. Over time Ryan and Teá decided to bravely venture out and embrace island life with their family.

Take a look at this video compilation of our residents going outside, many for the first time in their lives >>

Each milestone our chimpanzee residents experience is made possible by our supporters. Thank you for all you do to ensure our beloved residents enjoy the retirement they deserve.

Best Friday Ever!

Introducing Tuffy and Tiffany!

We are thrilled to introduce you to our two newest residents, Tuffy and Tiffany! Tiffany is a 13-year-old female and Tuffy is a 20-year-old male. They came to us from a private owner only a few days ago, but are already adjusting quickly to their new, sunny Florida home. It is clear that Tiffany and Tuffy are very close friends, and they have had one another for reassurance and comfort along this journey. They were slightly uncertain of their surroundings when they first entered their new home, as most chimpanzees are, but within minutes they were relaxing in the sunshine and excitedly greeting their new caregivers. They are curious about their surroundings and have been eagerly exploring their new home.


We are honored to have Tiffany and Tuffy entrusted in our care, and we have made a number of preparations to ensure they receive a soft landing into sanctuary life. We have begun tracking their enrichment preferences and monitoring their behavior in order to plan for future social introductions and to ensure we meet their every need.


Ultimately, Tiffany and Tuffy will have the opportunity to live on a large island habitat where they can express natural behaviors with their new chimpanzee social group. We are here to help them find their way, and we are able to look to them for cues every day to show us if they are ready to enter their new lives with baby steps or by leaps and bounds. Either way, we will be here to support them through every step along the way.

Help support Tuffy and Tiffany in their new forever-home at Save the Chimps. 

Thank you for your support! 

Sign up for our e-newsletters to stay updated on Tiffany and Tuffy. 


Happy Friday!

You did it! We met our goal!

Thanks to the outpouring of support from chimp fans across the United States, we reached our goal and will be able to install live action cameras later this year! These new cameras will help us to observe and monitor the chimps more closely than ever before, allowing us to increase our level of care. Plus, we can’t wait to give supporters like you an exclusive view into their everyday lives as they roam, groom, forage, and play.

Thank you for your support! 


Hidden corners and secret spots

My team and I here at Save the Chimps are so excited. As you can see from this progress update, we could be closer than ever to installing video cameras to help us observe the chimps and ensure that they are safe and healthy.

And what’s good for the Sanctuary care team can be good for you, too. That’s because we’ll be placing some of the cameras in areas supporters have never had access to. Which means you’ll truly be seeing the chimpanzees like you’ve never seen them before.

I’m talking about hidden corners and secret spots. Up-close views where you’ll get to watch the everyday activities of our chimpanzees. Even if you’ve been at the Sanctuary for our Member Days or other events, I can promise you’ve NEVER experienced the chimps the way you’ll see them on live video feed.

But first, we need to raise all the funds to get the cameras installed. We’re closer than ever! Please make your gift now.

As you may recall, generous donors provided the first $20,000 for this campaign, and since then 91 supporters have contributed another $8,798.

That means we’re only $11,202 away from achieving our $40,000 goal and having the cameras up and running by later this year. Have you made your donation yet?

Please give now to help bring live video to the Sanctuary!

In Gratitude,

Molly Polidoroff
Executive Director

P.S. You’re going to love watching live video feed of the chimps as they play, groom, exercise and do stimulating enrichment activities. And my team and I will benefit by being able to observe and monitor the chimpanzees more closely. The sooner we raise the funds, the sooner we’ll be able to install the cameras and notify you about the first broadcast, so please contribute now.

A New Plan to Get the Chimps Moving

Our chimpanzee residents eat three meals per day served by our caregivers. This gives our caregivers the opportunity to make sure everyone is happy, healthy, and eating a nutritious diet. In addition to meals, the chimpanzees receive enrichment. Enrichment is any item that promotes physical activity, mental stimulation, or play to ensure the chimpanzees’ well-being.

Twice a day this now includes spreading peanuts and sunflower seeds across the chimps’ 3-acre islands. This gives the chimps motivation to explore the island and search for these small (and tasty!) treats. This will greatly increase the amount of peanuts and sunflower seeds we need to purchase each month, but we feel it is important in promoting a healthy lifestyle for our residents.

Donate peanuts and sunflower seeds to our residents.

Exciting News To Share!

It’s not easy to monitor nearly 250 chimps living on 12 separate three-acre islands, plus a special care facility, with only our own two feet and our own two eyes.

But just imagine if we could check in on the chimps in real-time using a live video broadcast. We could see quickly if a climbing structure needs repair, respond to storm damage, observe chimp behaviors, and see in real-time if a chimp is in distress and needs medical attention.

And imagine if you could join in, too, and observe the chimps through live video feed!

Well, with your help, that dream could soon be coming true. We have received $20,000 in funding from generous donors to pay for half the cost, and now we need your help to match that for a total of $40,000 to install the camera system throughout the Sanctuary.

With your help we could be sharing the new video broadcast with you later this spring! But to make it happen we need your help now.

Please make your gift now and help bring live video to the Sanctuary!

Once we have the cameras installed, we will periodically “broadcast” island activities such as our chimpanzee parties, and share everyday activities…roaming, foraging, grooming, playing and chasing.

You’re going to love seeing the chimpanzees up close and personal like you’ve never seen before. And we’re going to love having “eyes and ears” on our chimps like never before – allowing us to deliver the very best care to the chimps.

Please donate today and help raise the $40,000 needed to launch this exciting new project! Can we count on you?

Please give as generously as you can. Thank you!