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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

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About CoVID19 & The Sanctuary

While it is unknown if Coronavirus (CoVID19) can be spread to non-humans, we know that a common cold can be deadly for chimps. The care of our resident chimpanzees has to come before any other considerations. As such we are erring on the side of caution and have issued new guidelines for staff, volunteers, and upcoming events including a comprehensive CoVID 19 Prevention Protocol.

Out of an abundance of caution we have made the decision to close the sanctuary to public events including upcoming VIP tours. A decision about Chimpathon will be made shortly. We will follow all suggestions from local health officials as well as any government agencies to ensure that our resident chimpanzees remain safe.

General preventive measures we are taking include: 

Staff and volunteers who have symptoms of illness must stay home and not report to the sanctuary until they are cleared by a doctor or their symptoms subside. STC is making special accommodations to our sick leave policy to ensure no staff are penalized for erring on the side of caution.

Anyone with symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath is requested to see a health care provider (don’t ignore it and think it’s just a cold) and is required to stay away from the chimps! Do not come to STC if you are at all sick or if anyone in your household is sick.

Frequent hand washing is very important in preventing diseases of all sorts when hands are not gloved. Please wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, remembering to include all surfaces of the hands, not just the palmar surface. Wash after using the toilet, before and after meals (since your hands would touch or are close to your face when you eat), after coughing or sneezing, as soon as you arrive at work and just before you leave work for the day.

Extra precautions on campus include:

  1. Personal Protection Equipment: All chimpanzee care staff or personnel with access to chimpanzees or their food, medication, enrichment (food and non-food) or housing, will wear masks and exam gloves at all times when working with chimpanzees or with any items which will be consumed or handled by chimpanzees. This includes when personnel (employees or volunteers) are inside chimpanzee housing for cleaning, feeding, enriching, medicating, making health assessments, making repairs, training, feeding, etc. This also includes personnel involved in food or food enrichment preparation in the kitchen. There is no reason, at this time, to prevent the PPE from being used in multiple buildings except in the buildings under pre-existing quarantine (Alice, Tanya and Tapioca). Face shields are not required at this time except in the aforementioned quarantined buildings.
  2. Foot Baths: Foot baths will be placed at all entrances to chimpanzee housing as well as the kitchen, food storage areas and the outside entry points to the veterinary medication room and procedure room. The disinfectant in the foot baths must be replaced first thing every morning, before the midday meeting and at the end of the day (due to need for the evening shift to deliver evening medications). The disinfectant solution must be refreshed as needed during the day to prevent evaporation. We are looking into creating a dual bath protocal (wash with water first and then disinfectant). 
  3. Keep Footwear Separated: Do not wear shoes or other footwear worn at work outside the sanctuary.
  4. Dispose of PPE Properly: All used PPE must be placed in receptacles which can be tightly closed to prevent the PPE from falling out or blowing away. All trash receptacles containing used PPE will be placed in the dumpster by the close of business and not held over for disposal by evening or overnight staff.
  5. Personal hygiene: Keep your hands off your face, including when you wear gloves. Touching your face with your gloved hands contaminates the glove(s). Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Use hand sanitizer after using the toilet. It will be provided in every bathroom on campus. Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue away in a closed trash receptacle.

Please understand there is no reason to panic but since we don’t know the effect of CoVID19 on chimpanzees (minor illness versus deadly) and we know there are chimpanzees at the sanctuary with preexisting conditions which could increase their risk level if exposed to CoVID 19, we are responding with an abundance of caution. Thank you to all our staff, volunteers, and supporters for their care and concern. 

Save the Chimps Dr. Andrew Halloran Travels to Africa to Save Chimpanzees Living in the Wild

Fort Pierce, FL: Save the Chimps, the world’s largest privately funded sanctuary for retired chimpanzees located in Fort Pierce, Florida announced that its Director of Chimpanzee Care and Behavior, Dr. Andrew Halloran, has traveled to Sierra Leone, Africa on a chimpanzee conservation trip he undertakes annually. The trip is part of a multi-year, international campaign Dr. Halloran has undertaken in an effort to save chimpanzees living in the wild called the Tonkolili Chimpanzee Project, founded in 2012.

As humans and chimpanzees are being forced closer and closer, there exists a war for the remaining natural resources in Africa. Chimps raid farms for food, farmers defend their land. “Unfortunately this is a growing reality for wild chimpanzees and unless we can find more ways of community based conservation, the future for wild chimpanzees is bleak,” stated Dr. Halloran.

Dr Andrew Halloran in Africa

The Tonkolili Chimpanzee Project was started to save several family groups of chimpanzees living in an environment under continual threat of human encroachment. The chimpanzees, who occupy an ever-shrinking forest fragment, have a long standing, albeit, contentious history of interaction with the nearby villages and farms.  “I am there to help find ways of mitigating conflicts between humans and chimpanzees through sustainable economic empowerment,” stated Dr. Halloran. In fact, the Tonkoklili Chimpanzee Project has undertaken some innovative initiatives to give farmers incentives to not retaliate against chimpanzees including providing alternative forms of income via livestock and other sustainable projects.

Dr. Halloran, author of the book Song of the Ape, has documented his time in Sierra Leone in a twelve part serial published in the Earth Island Journal entitled Lion Shaped Mountain (it can be found at www.earthislandjournal.org). – soon to be published in book form by Ingram publishing.  Shedding aside all preconceived notions about what is known about chimpanzee behavior, in Lion Shaped Mountain, Dr. Halloran recounts a remarkable tale of survival, and of extreme adaptation.

dr andrew halloran africa

Dr. Andrew R. Halloran is a primatologist who studies chimpanzee ecology, communication, and behavior. Dr. Halloran is a research affiliate with the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone as well as the founder of the Tonkolili Chimpanzee Project in Central Sierra Leone which seeks to find sustainable solutions to chimpanzee conservation through economic empowerment of local villages.

A Legacy of Caring

Since its founding in 1997 by Primatologist Dr. Carole Noon, 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. For more information or to donate your time or treasure, visit savethechimps.org.

Primatologists Gather at Save the Chimps for Annual Conference

Save the Chimps, the world’s largest privately funded sanctuary for retired chimpanzees, recently hosted the 6th Annual South Florida Primatology Meeting at its Sanctuary in Fort Pierce as well as at the Fenn Center at Indian River State College. In attendance were scientists, primatologists, primate care technicians, students and Save the Chimps volunteers. The keynote lecture was presented by David Morgan, co-director of the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project and research fellow of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at Lincoln Park Zoo.

The South Florida Primatology Meeting began in 2014 to build a local network of primatologists, primate care technicians, students, and those interested in the study, care, welfare, and preservation of primates.  “This is a passionate group of professionals, care technicians and students who are all interested in fostering discussion, exploring current research and sharing best practices in primate study and care,” stated Dr. Andrew Halloran, organizer of the conference.  Dr. Halloran is Director of Chimpanzee Behavior and Care at Save the Chimps, research affiliate with the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone as well as the founder of the Tonkolili Chimpanzee Project in Central Sierra Leone which seeks to find sustainable solutions to chimpanzee conservation through economic empowerment of local villages.

The network also aims to create a collegial network of support for those working in primate related fields. In addition to local practitioners and academics, the Executive Director and several staff from Chimp Haven attended the conference—Chimp Haven is the world’s largest publicly funded sanctuary for chimpanzees located outside Shreveport, Louisiana.

Amy Fultz, co-founder of Chimp Haven and its Director of Behavior, Research and Training, participated in a panel discussion on care for captive chimpanzees along with Dr. Tina Cloutier-Barbour Primate Curator at Lion Country Safari, Caroline Griffis of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, Save the Chimps Associate Veterinarian Dr. Kelsey McClure and Dr. Valerie Kirk, Save the Chimps Director of Veterinary Care.

“Sharing best practices amongst our sanctuary staff is key to being able to give our resident chimpanzees the best care possible,” added our Executive Director of Save the Chimps. In fact, earlier this winter, the senior staff of Save the Chimps visited Chimp Haven to see their facility and best practices in action. “Getting to share information and practices is invaluable – and the support we can give each other is unparalleled – there’s no one else we can turn to except each other when it comes to caring for large family groups of rescued chimpanzees,”.

Over the years, the annual meeting has been held at Lynn University, Lion Country Safari, Brevard Zoo, Dumond Conservancy / Monkey Jungle – however this the first time it was being held at Save the Chimps. “We are so proud of our care technicians and our staff, and it was a great opportunity to showcase the work we are doing to care for 233 resident chimpanzees,” added Dr. Halloran. The event was supported in part by Summer Crush Winery.

A Legacy of Caring

Since its founding in 1997 by Primatologist Dr. Carole Noon, 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. For more information or to donate your time or treasure, visit savethechimps.org.

6th Annual Primatologist Conference

Tina Cloutier Barbour of Lion Country Safari, Amy Fultz of Chimp Haven, Drs. Valerie Kirk, Kelsey McClure and Andrew Halloran of Save the Chimps discuss captive chimpanzee best practices

Dr. Valerie Kirk attends 47th Annual Association of Primate Veterinarians Workshop

Save the Chimps, a non-profit sanctuary providing life-long world-class care for chimpanzees in need, located in Fort Pierce, Florida reported that its Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Valerie Kirk, attended the 47th Annual association of Primate Veterinarians (APV) Workshop held in Broomfield, CO in mid-October.

“This is a great opportunity to meet with the top primate veterinarians in the U. S. – we are always incorporating the latest in best practices and on the lookout for what is happening in the field,” added Dr. Valerie Kirk. In addition to seeking out best practices, Dr. Kirk is actively expanding the sanctuary’s collegiate network. “Finding those professional partners who are available to come in and consult and provide care for our residents is a top priority as we look to expand our veterinary program to be the model for world class chimpanzee care,” said Dr. Kirk.

The APV was founded, first informally in 1973 and then formally in 1979. The objectives of the association are to promote the dissemination of information relating to the health, care and welfare of nonhuman primates; to provide a mechanism by which primate veterinarians may speak collectively on matters regarding nonhuman primates; and to promote fellowship among primate veterinarians.

Pictured is Dr. Valerie Kirk, Director of Veterinary Services at Save the Chimps with Anthony Cooke, Vice-President of VRL in San Antonio, TX. VRL processes patient samples to look for viruses for Save the Chimps

“We take great pride in the daily care we give our resident chimpanzees,” stated our Executive Director, “our care staff is exemplary, our veterinary staff is world-class — it is appropriate that we are at the table where important issues of primate care are being discussed,”.

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 one member day each year, the next of which is December 5th, 2020.

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 our Executive Director, “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,”.

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 savethechimps.org.

Save the Chimps Staff