Donate Today

Your donation helps provide care for the nearly 240 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:

Save the Chimps Honored for Service to Animals at St. Lucie County 35th Annual Business & Industry Appreciation Awards

Fort Pierce, Florida: Save the Chimps, a non-profit sanctuary providing life-long world-class care for chimpanzees in need, located in Fort Pierce, Florida announced that it was honored for providing exemplary Care and Service to Animals by the St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce during the 35th Annual Business & Industry Awards. Past winners include some of the top employers conducting business in St. Lucie County. The nominees were submitted by a committee of the Chamber of Commerce as well as the general public. Judging criteria included community involvement, economic impact, Chamber participation, and environmental responsibility.

Host for the event, CBS 12 News Anchor Liz Quirantes, presented the Award of Distinction to Dr. Andrew Halloran, Director of Chimpanzee Care who accepted on behalf of the 60 chimpanzee care team members at Save the Chimps.

“We take great pride in the daily care we give our resident chimpanzees,” stated Executive Director Dr. Shelly Lakly, “our care staff is exemplary, our veterinary staff is world-class — it is gratifying to be recognized by our partners in the community for the high level of care we provide,” stated Dr. Lakly.

Since its founding in 1997, the sanctuary has successfully retired 333 chimpanzees from unsuitable living conditions, allowing them to live out their days in a safe, secure, and vibrantly social community alongside their fellow chimpanzees. The retired chimps now live in large family groups on 12 separate three-acre islands, where they receive three fresh meals daily, first rate medical care, and a variety of activities in an enriched environment.

Save the Chimps is committed to providing sanctuary and exemplary care to chimpanzees in need. As the world’s largest privately funded sanctuary for chimpanzees, Save the Chimps relies 100% on annual donations from generous groups and individuals. Out of respect for its residents’ privacy, the sanctuary is closed to the public except for two member days each year, the next of which is February 15th, 2020. For more information or to donate your time or treasure, visit

Save the Chimps Staff


October Chimp Birthdays

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

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



October, 1 1997

Capone 2010


October 1, 1966

rufus copy


October 3, 1990

web Howard 300


October 4, 1981

Opal Oct 2011


October 4, 1991

Mariah Oct 2011 crop


October 7, 1993

Chance 150x150

Emily the 1st

October 15, 1964

Emily Jan 2011


October 17, 1989

Noah Dec 2011


October 18, 1992

Thelma with Garth playing chase FUN


October 21, 1988

Ridge Feb 2014

Jude the 1st

October 23, 1999

Jude (5) copy


October 23, 1988



October 24, 1988

Salina June 2012 (5)


October 27, 1998



October 27, 1986

Pumpkin close up Oct 2011

Pant-Hoot and Hunker Down

Each time a hurricane threatens Florida, the question on many of our supporters’ minds is “What about the chimps?” It’s still too early to tell exactly where Hurricane Dorian will make landfall, so we are preparing for a direct hit, just in case. The sanctuary was built with hurricanes in mind. The chimps’ indoor living areas are built to withstand hurricanes. When a hurricane threatens, the chimps are all locked indoors for their safety and comfort, with plenty of nesting material and enrichment. Extra food, water, and other supplies are stocked. Select staff members, known as the ride-out crew, remain onsite for the duration of the storm to provide care to the chimps. We have been through several hurricanes in the past, resulting in only minor damage and the chimps were not bothered by the storms at all.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for storm-related updates. 

If you’d like to send notes of encouragement to the ride-out crew, email


Thanks to all who gave

Our Board Match Challenge has ended, and I just want to thank all who contributed so generously.

Counting up all the gifts we received, and adding in the match dollars contributed by our Board, we raised an amazing $267,071!

We’re very, very grateful. That’s enough to provide 18 weeks of care for the nearly 240 chimpanzees — rescued from research institutes or retired from the pet or entertainment industry — who are spending a secure and dignified retirement here in this peaceful Florida sanctuary.

As our costs continue to rise, and the care for aging chimpanzees becomes increasingly expensive, it’s more important than ever to raise funds from our chimpanzee-loving members and supporters. The funds we donated during this Board Match Challenge will make a real difference in the lives of the chimps, so thank you once again.

If you’re receiving this email, but you didn’t have a chance to contribute during this once-a-year campaign, don’t worry. Although our Board Match Challenge has ended, you can still make a donation here.

Thank you for being such a good friend to all the chimpanzees at Save the Chimps!

Michelle Lakly Named Executive Director of Save the Chimps

Save the Chimps, the leading non-profit organization dedicated to providing permanent sanctuary for the lifelong care of rescued chimpanzees, today announced Michelle “Shelly” Lakly as Executive Director of the organization, effective September 3, 2019.

In this role, Lakly will invigorate the staff, board, and community to support a renewed vision for Save the Chimps, provide a hands-on approach to fundraising and growth, maintain and expand existing programs to the highest standards, and communicate effectively with the various stakeholders.

Prior to joining Save the Chimps, Lakly worked for The Nature Conservancy, most recently as Managing Director, Saving Great Rivers Program. Prior to that she served as Eastern Division Executive Director, Executive Director, Florida, and Executive Director, Georgia. Before that, Lakly held a variety of roles at Zoo Atlanta, including Vice President of Education and Conservation Programs, Director, Academy for Conservation Training, and Director of Education.

“Shelly is an experienced conservation executive with a stellar track record of accomplishment in fundraising and team building,” said Jon Stryker, Board Chair of Save the Chimps. “As both a strategic leader and trained scientist, she has the ability to inspire and invigorate those around her into action.”

“I am thrilled to be joining an organization with such a rich and successful history of animal welfare,” said Lakly. “Their vital programs have made such an important difference and I can’t wait to join the team and build upon that amazing work.”

Lakly holds a Doctor of Philosophy, Ecology, a Master of Science, Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development, and a Bachelor of Science, all from the University of Georgia, Institute of Ecology-Athens. Her accolades include a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Award and a U.S. Department of the Interiors Partners in Conservation Award.

About Save the Chimps:

Founded in 1997, Save the Chimps is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing permanent sanctuary for the lifelong care of chimpanzees rescued from research laboratories and retired from the entertainment industry and the pet trade. Every day the staff and volunteers of Save the Chimps provide daily care to over 240 chimpanzee residents spread out over 12 islands on 150 acres. For more information, visit

A Very Happy Friday

Thanks to your incredible support and our generous Board of Directors, we raised $267,071 during the month-long Board Match Challenge that launched in honor of World Chimpanzee Day on July 14.

All money raised helps provide world-class care to our beloved chimpanzee residents including three fresh, healthy meals of fruits and vegetables, loving daily care from specially-trained staff, and individualized medical care from our veterinarians. It also helps us to maintain their beautiful island homes and provides the many enrichment activities that fulfill their lives. Your support makes all the difference to our residents as they live out their lives in the peaceful retirement they so deserve!