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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 Dr. Shelly Lakly, 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,” added Dr. Lakly.

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 Executive Director Dr. Shelly Lakly, “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,” 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 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 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 savethechimps.org.

Save the Chimps Staff