Watch Liberated Research Chimps See the Sky for the First Time

Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite, back by popular demand. It was originally posted on March 12, 2013. Enjoy!

Chimp Haven, the sanctuary for retired biomedical research chimps, has released a moving video that shows government research chimps as they go out into the simulated wild for the very first time.

Watch the film below:

As noted above, more than 100 government-owned chimpanzees at the New Iberia Research Center, a laboratory in Louisiana, will be retired to the federal chimpanzee sanctuary Chimp Haven, providing sufficient funds are in place to construct the necessary facilities. It is estimated that this will cost upwards of $2.3 million, funds the government will not be able to provide in their entirety due to its spending cap having been reached.

Many of the chimps, some of them now over 50 years of age, will have endured a life-time being subjected to oftentimes invasive medical tests.

The process toward liberating chimpanzees from biomedical research facilities has been a long one.

In 2011, the Institute of Medicine issued a report in which it concluded the majority of research conducted on chimpanzees is unnecessary. After a period of consultation, it was recommended that all but 50 chimpanzees be fully retired.

As previously cited here at Care2, it emerged last year that a number of chimps from the New Iberia Research Center were in fact due to be sent to other medical facilities where, while they would no longer be subject to invasive medical tests, they may have still been used in research.

In December, however, and after a public outcry, the NIH announced it would move all the chimps to a sanctuary.

It is estimated that there are nearly 2,000 chimpanzees in the United States today. Of those, figures suggest 962 are still housed in research laboratories.

Of the remaining number, approximately 446 live in accredited sanctuaries; 259 are registered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums; and 287 are either in non-accredited sanctuaries or zoos, or are being sold or housed as pets by members of the public — often in wildly restrictive and unsuitable environments.

Over the next 12 to 15 months, more lab chimps from across the country will be liberated from their lives as medical research animals.

As noted above, even though the government has now moved to retire the vast majority of the remaining chimps, a failure to provide funds for such rehousing efforts means that many so-called retirement sanctuaries, like Chimp Haven, have had to resort to asking for public funding. Experts in the field have called on the government to allocate more funds in order to ensure that the order to retire is more than just empty words.

The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011, which requires the phasing-out of federally supported invasive research on Great Apes and for retiring government-owned animals to be sent to sanctuaries, continues to languish in Congress. Privately-funded invasive research on chimps is still ongoing, and with little remedy yet in sight. Certainly, there is still a great deal of work to be done on this issue, but the above video shows in clear terms why the work must continue.

A website has been set-up to track what have been dubbed “The Last 1,000.” You can access that website here.

 

Related Reading:

The Last 1,000: Site Tracks Retirement of Research Chimps

Senate Committee Passes Bill To End Chimp Research

Feds ‘Retire’ 110 Chimps…By Sending Them For More Research

Image credit: YouTube Video Image.

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1316 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus9 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Maggie Welch
Maggie W.11 months ago

Thank you.

Maggie Welch
Maggie W.11 months ago

Thank you.

Kirsty Mayfield
Kirsty Mayfield11 months ago

thankyou

Kirsty Mayfield
Kirsty Mayfield11 months ago

this is so sad but heartwarming!

Patricia Guilhem
Patricia Guilhem11 months ago

Vidéo très émouvante. Mais quand les hommes arrêteront ils de faire tant de mal ??? Belle vie à ces chimpanzés. Mais tant d' autres souffrent encore....pfff. ( soupirs )

Hent catalina - maria

Thank you

Nyack Clancy
Nyack Clancy11 months ago

Thank you

Rosemary Rannes
Rosemary Rannes11 months ago

I say shame on the humane race!
How much longer is it going to take before all government 'owned' chimps will be sent to a sanctuary to retire?
" The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011, which requires the phasing-out of federally supported invasive research on Great Apes and for retiring government-owned animals to be sent to sanctuaries, continues to languish in Congress. Privately-funded invasive research on chimps is still ongoing, and with little remedy yet in sight. Certainly, there is still a great deal of work to be done on this issue, but the above video shows in clear terms why the work must continue."




Deborah W.
Deborah W.11 months ago

Overwhelming, just think about it ... 50 years of misuse and abuse to finally be placed into an environment which was rightfully yours from day one. Their awe and wonder speaks volumes ... and shows what humans are capable of, both the good and the bad. Which do you see as the dominate group?