Chimpanzees endured electric shock, extreme G-forces, and challenging physical conditions
Chimpanzees were used in the U.S. space program for testing equipment and survivability starting in the late 1950s. For the next four decades, they and their descendants became biomedical research test subjects, used for space-related experimentation, disease research, toxicology experiments, experimental surgeries, and breeding. Learn about Ham, the first ape in space.
Save the Chimps was originally founded to provide a home for chimpanzees once used by the U.S. Air Force for research purposes. When you symbolically adopt Garfield and Jennifer, both former Air Force chimps, your donation will help provide complete care for them.
75% of chimps in captivity in the U.S. have lived or are still living in biomedical research laboratories
Research on chimpanzees began in the 1920s and expanded to a peak in the 1990s with as many as 1,500 chimpanzees living in at least 11 different private or government labs in the U.S. There has been modest decline to approximately 700, as a number of them have been transferred to sanctuaries. Read more on chimpanzees in laboratories. View a timeline of the retirement of chimps in research.
View photos of what life was like inside the Coulston Foundation.
Though the use of chimpanzees in entertainment is declining, chimpanzees continue to be exploited in film and commercials. Unlike documentaries featuring wild chimpanzees enjoying life in the forest, exploited captive chimpanzees are dressed up and perform unnatural tricks. Many stores likewise sell pictures of “smiling” chimps on birthday cards and calendars. To most people, the chimpanzees look happy. It all seems like harmless fun. What most people don’t know is that the training methods required to perform unnatural behaviors are incompatible with the chimpanzees’ emotional and psychological needs. Learn more about chimpanzees in the entertainment industry.
Make a symbolic adoption of Terry who was retired from the entertainment industry.
Save the Chimps sometimes gets asked how someone might obtain a baby chimpanzee of their own as a pet. Partly due to the use of baby chimpanzees in entertainment, some people think that having a chimpanzee as a pet would be a wonderful idea, and most people interested in having a chimp genuinely care about chimps. But chimpanzees do not make good pets. Keeping a chimpanzee as a pet can be a challenging experience for the chimpanzee, and often the humans regret their choice when the demands of owning a chimpanzee come to light. Purchasing a chimpanzee as a pet begins with the separation of the baby from their mother and often ends with the chimp living for many years in unnatural settings or unsafe conditions. Learn more about why chimpanzees don’t make good pets.
You can make a symbolic adoption of April – a former pet who now lives safely at Save the Chimps.