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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

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In Loving Memory of David

In loving memory of David

“Forgiveness is an attribute of the Strong.” Mahatma Gandhi


David, one of the most beloved chimpanzee at Save the Chimps, passed Monaaway from heart failure after many years of treatment. He was an incredible being and will be sorely missed by his chimp and human families. We generally write our tributes describing who the chimpanzee has become once they are given the opportunity to live a more fulfilling life at Save the Chimps. But for dear David, we wanted to show the true meaning of forgiveness by sharing his life story with you.

David was born in Africa. If he had been allowed to stayed there, his mother would have lovingly cared for and fiercely protected her young son. David would have nursed for 5 years. He would have ridden on his mom’s back while foraging for food, for, teaching him what to eat and what to avoid. These early childhood experiences would have shaped his social skills, personality, survival ability, and character. David would have spent his whole life in his natal territory surrounded by a large family and eventually fathered children himself.

But David never got to experience that life. Instead, he was snatched from the forests of Africa and brought to the United States for biomedical research. Although we have no information of his early years, David ended up at a laboratory called LEMSIP located in upstate New York. Here, the chimps were singly housed in cages suspended from the walls. The fetid feces and urine that piled beneath the cages caused a horrible, caustic odor. There was no outside access, nesting material, fresh food or enrichment. For over 10 years, David languished in this small space. Weekly he was sedated with ketamine, which stings when given in the muscle. He would probably sit in anticipation of the pain and distress because his food would be withheld while the other chimps ate around him. The records reflect that for ten years he was injected weekly, had multiple substances introduced into his body and was subjected to constant blood work and liver biopsies.

When LEMSIP finally closed, David and other chimps were sold to the Coulston Foundation in New Mexico, a laboratory with one of the worst animal welfare violations records in history. He spent 4 years living in isolation in building 300, a dark, dank structure referred to as “the dungeon” by Dr. Noon. The chimps were housed alone in cement cells with no outside light, no ability to see their neighbors and no stimulation.  And in one of those enclosures sat dear, sweet David.

David was kind, handsome and lovable, though never subservient, from the moment we met him. He garnered respect from every chimp and caregiver who was lucky enough to know him.  He had piercing brown eyes that stared directly at you, communicating his intelligence and exposing his soul and forced you to open yours. He was a chimp among chimps; kind, smart and dignified. He formed a strong bond with everyone in his family, but particularly Pele, who remained close by for the rest of his life. Although he was diagnosed with heart disease in 2006, he lived an active and enriching life.  David’s family made the move to Florida in May, 2009 and soon after, the doors to the island and his new life opened. David  remained a gentleman until the day he died. 

Now that is forgiveness………

Join us in remembering him.

It is important to us to honor each chimpanzee who passes away with an individualized tribute. Announcing the loss of one of the residents is not immediate, because it takes us time to mourn and put into words the life, memories, and personalities of each individual.

Learn more about how we honor the passing of beloved residents.

A Message from Larry

My name is Larry and I would like to share a story with a happy ending with you on this Giving Day for Apes. It’s people like you who make happy endings possible at Save the Chimps.

My story is not unlike that of many of the more than 800 chimps still awaiting retirement from research laboratories, entertainment, and the pet trade.

I spent the first years of my life at a popular attraction. When I was nine, I was sent to the Coulston Foundation—a biomedical research laboratory with the worst record of any lab in the history of the Animal Welfare Act—where I lived in isolation for a decade in a building known as the Dungeon.

At the age of 19, I was rescued by Save the Chimps. This is the happy ending part. I now live in a chimpanzee family on an a three-acre island at the beautiful Sanctuary in Fort Pierce, Florida.

You can help bring more chimps just like me home to sanctuary! We are provided lifelong exemplary care, so a new island needs to be built to receive those in imminent need.

Because of YOU, we are able to live dignified and peaceful lives. Please help the Sanctuary reach its goal tonight! Thank you!


Hurricane Irma Update

  • Chris Scott and Mark Norton track the storm. Early in the week it looked possible that we would receive a direct hit.
  • Volunteer Jenny, made extra Gatorade to have on hand for chimpanzees who require it.
  • Volunteers also made extra enrichment to keep the chimps busy during the storm.
  • Extra supplies, including food, were delivered.
  • An emergency meeting was held to update staff on the storm procedures.
  • Our hard-working maintenance team boarded up the kitchen and offices.
  • Our hard-working maintenance team boarded up the kitchen and offices.
  • Extra primate chow was delivered to have supplies to last through and after the storm.
  • The ride-out crew stayed at the Sanctuary during the storm to care for the chimps.
  • The ride-out crew after the storm.
  • The recovery team arrived at the Sanctuary after the storm passed and the all clear was given that it was safe to drive to the Sanctuary.
  • The recovery crew heading out to feed the chimps.
  • The Sanctuary has a lot of debris to be cleared including downed trees and limbs.
  • After some repairs to the saloon platform, Jaybee was happy to be back at his favorite spot on the island.
  • Metal from the upper wall of the land bridge were blown off. They do need repair but thankfully it did not prevent us from being able to let the chimps out once islands were inspected.
  • Areas that received flooding did not impact buildings.
  • The water treatment plant generator kicked on automatically when the power went out, providing fresh water to the chimps. Our maintenance team inspected it to find that it was fully functioning.
  • Our chimpanzee residents were happy to go back onto their islands after they were inspected for damage.
  • Phoenix
  • Kiley enjoying blue skies again!
  • Pumpkin
  • A variety of wildlife was spotted wandering the Sanctuary after the storm including walking catfish, turtles, frogs, and many birds.

Allie has left the building!


World Lab Animal Day

Media release

Contact:Triana Romero
Director of Communications

World Lab Animal Day is Sunday, April 24th

Save the Chimps, the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary, recognizes the day to remember the 700 chimpanzees remaining in labs.

Fort Pierce, Fla. (April 19, 2016) World Day For Animals In Laboratories or World Lab Animal Day was established in 1979. It is a day to remember and honor those animals who are awaiting retirement from research laboratories, as well as those who have found sanctuary.

Nearly 700 chimpanzees are still awaiting retirement from research labs. Where can chimpanzees who have been retired from labs go to live out their lives? Unable to survive in the wild, they need a place where they can thrive in companionship with other chimpanzees, naturalistic habitats, state-of-the-art veterinary care, and an enriching environment.

Save the Chimps is the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary. With help from generous supporters, Save the Chimps provides loving care, nutritious food, daily enrichment, and expert veterinary care to more than 250 chimpanzees.

In honor of World Lab Animal Day, we would like to introduce you to Indie, one of the 266 chimpanzees Save the Chimps rescued from the Coulston Foundation, a former biomedical research laboratory with extensive Animal Welfare Act violations in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Indie spent the first years of her life at the now-closed Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP) in New York state. She was immediately taken from her mother at birth, and at only four months old she endured her first open liver biopsy. She was placed in several studies during her time at LEMSIP, where she was isolated in a 5’ x 5’ x 7’ cage. LEMSIP closed its doors when Indie was 11 years old, and she was transferred to the Coulston Foundation. While at the Coulston Foundation, she was sedated daily, every other day, or weekly. By 1999 she was diagnosed with severe anemia. In 2001, Indie’s anemia became so severe that she had an emergency blood transfusion. Throughout her time at LEMSIP and Coulston, she experienced countless sedations, blood draws, and liver biopsies.

Indie now savors the joys of sanctuary life. She enjoys nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables daily, soft blankets to nest with every night, and a variety of enrichment to keep her mind active. Most importantly, Indie now enjoys the companionship of other chimpanzees – especially her best friend Cayenne. Indie is now living the peaceful and dignified retirement she deserves.

View videos of Indie enjoying companionship and sanctuary life »

About Save the Chimps

Save the Chimps was founded in 1997 by Carole Noon, Ph.D. who was inspired to help chimpanzees after meeting Dr. Jane Goodall in the early 1980s. She received her Ph.D. in biological anthropology from the University of Florida, specializing in the socialization of captive chimpanzees. Save the Chimps was founded by Dr. Noon and Jon Stryker, founder and president the Arcus Foundation, to provide permanent sanctuary to chimpanzees being abandoned by the United States Air Force. The Air Force rejected Dr. Noon’s bid to provide care for the chimpanzees and instead gave them to the Coulston Foundation, a notorious laboratory with extensive Animal Welfare Act violations. Dr. Noon sued the Air Force on behalf of the chimpanzees, and after a year-long legal struggle, the lawsuit was settled out of court in Save the Chimps’ favor. One year later, the Coulston Foundation was facing bankruptcy, and entered negotiations with Save the Chimps to retire the chimpanzees. With generous financial support provided by the Arcus Foundation, 266 chimpanzees were rescued from the Coulston Foundation and now call the 150-acre Save the Chimps sanctuary in Ft. Pierce, FL, their permanent home. Since its founding, Save the Chimps has additionally rescued chimpanzees from entertainment and the pet trade.

Save the Chimps is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing permanent sanctuary for the lifelong care of chimpanzees rescued from research laboratories, the entertainment industry and the pet trade.  For more information, visit or

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