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.
“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.