Chimp Life

Honoring Our Promise

The chimpanzees live in large family groups on 12 separate 3-acre islands

Most of our residents lived alone in small confined cages for decades.  The islands give the chimps choices and control over their own lives, something many of our residents had never experienced. An enriched outdoor environment allows the chimps to roam, visit with friends, bask in the sun, or curl up in the shade. These freedoms provide them with the dignified and peaceful retirement they have always deserved.

Watch this video of the chimps venturing onto their islands for the first time.

The most important gift the chimpanzees have is each other

In the wild, chimpanzee communities may range in size from 15 to 120 chimps of both sexes and all ages. In their former lives as research subjects, pets, and entertainers, many of the chimps lived alone. These chimpanzees are now getting a second chance at life. They live in large family groups of up to 26 members and are learning how to play, laugh, and groom – all natural behaviors for chimpanzees.

Watch this video of chimpanzees meeting each other for the first time.

Chimps With Special Needs

Just like humans, chimpanzees sometimes have special needs. At Save the Chimps, any chimpanzee who is temporarily or permanently unable to live in one of our 12 large chimpanzee families is considered to have special needs. Some chimpanzees with special needs have a difficult time getting along with other chimps; others have medical conditions that could be exacerbated by living with a large group of chimpanzees. Some of these chimps live in the Special Needs facility, and others “time-share” an island with a larger social group.

Learn more about these chimpanzees and the Special Needs facility.

Special Needs Facility

Chimps Love to Eat!

Chimpanzees are opportunistic feeders, meaning they consume fruit and vegetables that are ripe and available during different times of the year.

Here at Save the Chimps, we are able to obtain nutritious food items year-round to provide three balanced meals per day. You always know when it’s time to eat around here, as meals are met with loud, happy vocalizations from the chimps! Learn More »

Scroll through the album below to see just how much chimps love to eat!

Our Chimps Eat:


The chimpanzees love corn and we’re glad they do because it’s rich in potassium, antioxidants, and fiber. Like humans, as chimpanzees age their cells produce free radicals that cause damage to the surrounding cells. Vitamins and other substances found in certain foods act as antioxidants, which help prevent this. Corn is full of insoluble fiber that helps prevent constipation. It is loaded with vitamins C, E, and carotenoids that help prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, and protect the eyes from degeneration.


When most people think of oranges, they think of vitamin C. While it is true that a medium-sized orange contains 134% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, oranges have many other less-famous health benefits. The vitamin A in oranges helps maintain healthy skin, gums, and eyes. Like apples, oranges also contain the dietary fiber pectin that protects colon health and helps decrease cholesterol levels. They also contain many phytochemicals, such as narigenin, that boost the immune system, decrease inflammation, and work as anti-oxidants. The chimpanzees never waste the white stuff between the peel and the fruit, often referred to as “pith.” This bitter-tasting component contains vitamin C, fiber, and the phytonutrient herperidin which acts as an anti-inflammatory, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and may help relieve diarrhea and upset stomachs.


Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, which is found in both the fruit and in the peel. This important nutrient reduces the risk of stroke, helps to decrease blood pressure, and helps maintain muscle health. Bananas are also uniquely high in vitamin B6, which is important for immune system function, as well as brain and heart health. They also contain vitamins A, C, and D. At Save the Chimps, we have noticed that chimpanzees who have an upset stomach will often eat the peel more than the fruit. The peel contains a flavonoid called leucocyanidin that helps protect the stomach from excess acid. The banana peel also provides extra fiber for digestion, insulin that boosts iron absorption, and antioxidants including leutin, which helps protect eye health.

Chimpanzee Enrichment

Many of the chimpanzees in our care endured years of a barren and lonely existence. Save the Chimps is committed to providing the chimpanzees with the best retirement possible. In short, we want them to be happy and enjoy life. One way in which we ensure the chimpanzees well-being is through enrichment.

Learn more…

We Even Celebrate Holidays

The chimpanzees celebrate holidays such as Chimpentine’s Day, Chimpoween, and Chimpmas, complete with streamers and special treats scattered throughout their island. Our dedicated volunteers and caregivers love nothing more than putting on a good party for the chimps to enjoy.

Just like us, chimpanzees love a good party and this is a great opportunity to provide them with enrichment.

Scroll through the photos to see the fun!

Taking Care of Our Chimps

Our chimps also receive top notch medical care

This includes preventative health screenings – echocardiograms, ultrasounds, radiographs and bloodwork – to find and treat medical problems early in the course of a disease. It also means treating acute problems when they occur. Our veterinarians, consulting specialists, technicians, and a community of volunteer medical doctors guarantee that the chimpanzees’ health issues are addressed with the latest diagnostics and best medicine available.

Loved and Lost

How we honor the passing of our beloved residents

Since its inception, Save the Chimps has provided lifelong care to more than 300 chimpanzees from research laboratories, entertainment, and the pet trade. Our purpose is to provide these amazing beings with the peaceful and dignified lives they deserve.

Sadly, over the years, we have had to say goodbye to some of our beloved friends. We are occasionally asked, “What happens when a chimp dies?” People wonder what we do, and how the chimps react. Over the years, we have developed a ritual to honor and say goodbye to a chimpanzee who has passed away. The chimpanzees themselves are very much a part of that ritual. To learn more please visit our photo series:

“A Time to Weep, a Time to Laugh, a Time to Mourn, a Time to Dance”

Your Support Makes All This Possible

fresh meals daily
Medical care from our veterinarians
Maintaining their island habitats
Enriching activities to keep life interesting