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Project Chimps is the newest chimpanzee sanctuary in the United States and was founded to provide lifelong exemplary care to 200 former research chimpanzees at its sanctuary on 236 acres of forested land in the Blue Ridge Mountains of north Georgia. Today, Project Chimps is home to 78 chimpanzees and we are working to move nearly 130 more to permanent sanctuary. The sanctuary is occasionally open to the public for special events and group tours.
September 14, 2015, marked the effective end of unrestricted invasive experiments on chimpanzees in the United States. All chimps, both wild and captive, were listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on that day, after a decades-long fight to end the use of chimpanzees in laboratory research.
Chimpanzees in private research institutions also needed a forever home. In anticipation of the federal policy change, Project Chimps reached an agreement in 2014 with the University of Louisiana’s New Iberia Research Center (NIRC), which houses the largest population of privately-owned chimpanzees in the United States, to provide sanctuary to all of NIRC’s chimpanzees.
The Humane Society of the United States (The HSUS) led this fight, alongside many other leaders and supporters in the chimpanzee sanctuary community, including founding board member and noted animal law attorney Bruce Wagman. The National Institutes of Health, on the heels of the ESA decision, made a final announcement in November 2015 that it would no longer fund invasive chimpanzee research and would retire all government-owned chimpanzees to the federal sanctuary.
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