By Sarah Timms
Last year, two government decisions drastically changed the world for chimpanzees used in research and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that they would permanently retire 310 – the vast majority – of their chimps into the care of Chimp Haven.
Chimp Haven, The National Chimpanzee Sanctuary, is currently home to 210 residents and is located in Keithville, Louisiana, about 22 miles outside of Shreveport. Founded in 1995, Chimp Haven’s mission is to provide humane, lifetime care for chimpanzees no longer used in biomedical research, as pets or as entertainers.
Every resident of Chimp Haven has a beautiful, unique personality. Jimoh, beloved by both chimpanzees and sanctuary caregivers, recently passed away. He was born in the wild and taken from his natural environment at a young age, after which he spent most of his life in biomedical research. Let me repeat that: he was born in the wild.
Many chimps still carry the diseases that they were exposed to as research subjects. Crystal, a beautiful female with dark black hair and white whiskers, was infected with HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Chimp Haven is the only sanctuary in the U.S. equipped to care for a large number of chimpanzees infected with HIV and hepatitis. There, expert staff ensures that Crystal receives her medications on time, delivered in her favorite food, peanut butter banana sandwiches.
The recent and wonderful announcement by the NIH places Chimp Haven, in a difficult position. To accept the new retirees, the sanctuary must more than double in size and secure the additional resources it needs for the chimps’ lifetime care. While 110 of the NIH chimps have already arrived at the Sanctuary, the fate of the other chimps is still up in the air. That is why LoveAnimals.org and Alison Eastwood decided to run a crowdfunding campaign on nonprofit crowdfunding site LoveAnimals.org to raise $50,000 to help pay for the care of the chimps already at Chimp Haven.
"We owe them, these self-aware, social animals sacrificed so much for the benefit of humans. They deserve the best possible care during retirement, both physically and emotionally. You can make a difference right now by donating to my project – even $5.00 makes a difference. 100% of your donation will go towards giving research chimps the life in retirement that we owe them.” – Alison Eastwood.
Anyone willing to donate $35.00 or more will receive a cool T-Shirt in return. We appreciate your help!
CEO and Founder of LoveAnimals.org
“It’s our mission to increase giving to the animal welfare and wildlife conservation sector using crowdfunding technology.”