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Chimp Haven prepares for influx of retired government chimps

Chimp Haven

A sanctuary for retired research chimpanzees in Keithville, La., is about to nearly double its population when it receives 113 chimps from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette New Iberia Research Center that no longer has a contract with the National Institutes of Health to conduct animal research. Chimp Haven president Linda Brent said her organization launched a $5 million fundraising campaign for the expansion. She said Chimp Haven’s staff is poised for growth.

"Clearly there will be a really significant boost to our local economy in the next year due to the influx of chimps at Chimp Haven," Brent said.

The federal government owns or supports about 670 chimpanzees, including those at New Iberia and at Chimp Haven. Brent said Chimp Haven has enough land to one day be able to house 400 retired primates.

Brent said the first chimps will be relocated from the New Iberia lab at the end of January.