An anonymous $2 million donation from a stranger is providing a new home to over 200 chimpanzees who have been living in research facilities.
The chimps are now one step closer to retirement thanks to the multi-million donation which was made to Chimp Haven, the national chimpanzee sanctuary in Louisiana.
The gift was made at the end of the year by an anonymous supporter who is committed to supporting Chimp Haven’s “Welcome Them Home” campaign, a concerted effort to build more habitats and expand veterinary care suites to accommodate the chimps’ transitions from research facilities.
Chimp Haven is a private, nonprofit refuge on 200 acres of forested land in Northwest Louisiana. It’s home to more than 260 chimps already retired from biomedical research. While federal funds cover a crucial portion of the lifetime care of these government-owned chimps, the organization relies entirely on the generosity of donors to cover the construction necessary to welcome even more retirees into Chimp Haven’s care.
The campaign-driven expansion, which includes new forested habitats and open-air enclosures, will enrich the lives of retirees with new spaces to play, explore and interact. Additionally, it provides ample space for Chimp Haven to accommodate chimpanzees still waiting for sanctuary retirement.
“It’s very exciting to begin 2019 with such a generous contribution to chimpanzee wellbeing,” said Rana Smith, president and chief executive officer of Chimp Haven. “Donors like this make it clear that people are deeply committed to the retirement of former research chimpanzees. This national effort is as important as ever, which is why we’re working diligently to expand our habitats and give these chimps the sanctuary retirement they deserve.”