Success: Chimps to Be Retired From Lab and Sent to Sanctuary

Target: Sarah Baeckler Davis, President, Project Chimps

Goal: Praise efforts to secure release of 220 chimps from research center.

It has been announced that 220 chimpanzees are going to be released from the University of Louisiana’s New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) and retired to a 236-acre sanctuary run by Project Chimps. This is groundbreaking news; it is the largest ever release of captive chimps. It is also the first time a private research facility has consented to liberating its entire colony.

“We’re making history here,” said Project Chimps President Sarah Baeckler Davis. “We’re thrilled to partner with NIRC on this retirement of so many chimpanzees. It’s an unprecedented collaboration and a momentous occasion for chimpanzees.”

The chimps’ long-time confinement at the controversial laboratory provoked waves of public criticism. Dozens of petitions, like this one on ForceChange, were drafted and signed demanding that NIRC retire the animals to a reputable sanctuary. The chimps, whose ages range from one to 50 years, will be relocated in small social groups over a period of two or three years, while Project Chimps arranges for the appropriate accommodations. The first group of 10 is to be delivered to the sanctuary in June.

Steven M. Wise, President of the Nonhuman Rights Project, applauded the news.”This long overdue move by the NIRC is a significant milestone in our long-term campaign to change the legal status of nonhuman animals,” he said. “We’re thrilled these chimpanzees will have their bodily liberty and integrity returned to them at Project Chimps.”

It is encouraging and inspiring to know that organizations like Project Chimps are working tirelessly to give these animals the happiness and fulfillment they so deserve. Please sign the below petition thanking the people at Project Chimps for their invaluable work.


Dear Ms. Davis,

I am writing to thank you for the incredible work you did to secure the rescue of 220 research chimps from the New Iberia Research Center.

It is heart-breaking to think about what these innocent animals were made to endure up until this point. However, the fact that they will finally experience redemption at your spacious, 236-acre sanctuary is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Without you and your organization, there is no telling what would have become of these beautiful and intelligent creatures. Thank you for your tireless and indispensable work. I hope you know how much it is appreciated.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tambako the Jaguar

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