Photo: Project Chimps

Our Story

After almost 100 years of using chimpanzees for invasive biomedical research in the United States, scientists, politicians, policy-makers and the public all agree: it’s no longer necessary, and chimpanzees deserve retirement in accredited sanctuaries. Chimpanzees housed in federally-funded labs have retirement plans in place. But what about the hundreds of chimpanzees still left in private research labs, with existing sanctuaries largely full?

To answer this problem, a “super group” of chimpanzee, nonprofit, philanthropic, and legal experts joined together, and founded Project Chimps in 2014 to provide sanctuary for a majority of the last remaining chimpanzees in private research facilities. The founders included current board members and Sarah Baeckler Davis. After many months of negotiations, Project Chimps secured agreements to permanently retire nearly all of the remaining privately-held chimpanzees in labs. This is an unprecedented feat; it’s an effective end to biomedical research on chimpanzees. Forever.

For the research industry, it’s the end of an era, but for these chimpanzees, it’s just the beginning. In September 2016, the first group of chimpanzees arrived at the Project Chimps sanctuary from the University of Louisiana’s New Iberia Research Center (NIRC), which made the impressive and admirable decision to move its entire population of chimpanzees in phases over time to Project Chimps.

Our 236-acre sanctuary is nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, and will eventually provide sanctuary for up to 300 chimpanzees. Over $3,000,000 in improvements have been completed on the property since its purchase, including several great ape housing “villas,” a state-of-the-art veterinary clinic, a brand-new kitchen (donated by Rachael Ray), administration building, and a large chimp-introduction building where chimpanzee groups will be integrated and socialized.

This project would not be possible without the support of NIRC, the Humane Society of the United States, and many generous individual donors. We rely on donations to fulfill our mission and require ongoing funding for the future care of the chimpanzees and habitat expansion to accommodate all of our residents.

It’s their time to live. Won’t you support Project Chimps today?

“Congratulations to the Project Chimps team and its partners on this historic achievement for chimpanzees. I am 100% in support, and am so glad this dream is coming true.”

– Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace