Keithville, LA — Retired lab chimps saw the sky for the first time when they arrived at Chimp Haven at the Eddie D. Jones Nature Park.
The video below captures the beginning of the retired lab chimps new lives.
The chimpanzees, some of whom are eligible to join AARP because they are over age 50, will be able enjoy their retirement years in a group setting roughly equivalent to their natural habitat rather than being stuck in cages or behind bars. “Many chimps stepping onto the grass had never before seen the sky, or walked on natural ground.”
Ultimately, more than 100 of the retired research chimps will be enjoy their post-lab years at Chimp Haven, as part of the largest group of government-owned chimps apparently ever to be retired from a laboratory. According to the facility’s website, Camp Haven’s mission is to “To provide humane care for chimpanzees that have been used for biomedical research,or other purposes, and which are no longer used for those purposes.”
As The Inquisitr has previously reported, the decision to send the research animals to a sanctuary is touted as a big step forward for lab test subjects. The National Institutes of Health suggested the chimps have plenty of space for playing and climbing in their new habitat. The governmental agency has also called for “major cuts” to laboratory chimp studies. Breeding the lab chimps to create more study subjects may also be coming to an end.
The sanctuary located 22 miles southwest of Shreveport encompasses 200 acres of open space. The chimps will have year around access to the outdoor areas, quite a big change from their caged environment. The retiring chimpanzees will also have bountiful amounts of dirt, grass, and mulch to enjoy. The sanctuary is apparently in need of donations to support its burgeoning chimp population, however, to supplement government funding.
Watch the retired lab chimps get a breath of fresh air and see the outside world and their new retirement community at Chimp Haven for the first time: