Monkey love and a helping hand give rescued chimps a second chance

Rescued chimp Valentina Rose enjoys a plum at her home. ©Chimp HavenMost of us have experienced some unexpected expenses which have left us a bit short of money, temporarily.

When that happens we forego dining out for a while or put off buying that new pair of shoes.

When this happens to wild animal sanctuaries it’s not a case of no shoe shopping, it’s considering the many, many mouths that need to be fed every day.

Sometimes, sanctuaries just need some temporary help too in getting through a rough patch. Just recently, the International Fund for Animal Welfare was able to help out in the sanctuary world of primates.

See how the rescued chimps’ personalities emerge while under Chimp Haven’s care.   

There is finally some good news for chimpanzees used for laboratory research in the United States.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) is retiring most of their chimps used in research and is in the process of finding placement in sanctuaries. The transfer is expected to take five years when all but about 50 chimpanzees, which will remain with the NIH, will be ‘retired’.

The not-so-good news is Congress limits how much the NIH can spend on caring for chimps in the sanctuary system.

On 13 November 2013, U.S. Congress and Senate passed The Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance and Protection Act, approving the funding to expand the capacity of chimpanzee sanctuaries that take into lifetime care the apes owned by the federal government. Negotiations are under way to shift money the agency has spent housing the animals in research facilities toward supporting their retirement needs. That money shift can’t come too soon for sanctuaries.

Chimp Haven, a sanctuary in Louisiana was recently the recipient of 100 of the NIH chimpanzees, bringing their census up to 210 chimps. Until it could catch up with its finances, IFAW helped with a grant to buy fruits, vegetables and chow for its residents who typically eat 2,000 pounds (that’s 1 ton!) of fruits and vegetables a month.

Chimpanzees are not the only primates that are “used” in research. Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary in Gainesville, Florida has also taken in 7 capuchin monkeys being released from a Georgia research laboratory. IFAW was able to provide funding to enable them to build a new habitat which will include a monkey gym, sleeping cave, hammocks and misters for “monkey rain”. 

Chimps interacting in their protected habitat. © Ngamba Chimp Sanctuary

This temporary need for a helping hand certainly isn’t limited to the United States. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary off the coast of Uganda is home to 48 chimps rescued from throughout Uganda. It recently went through a financial crisis when tourism declined and the economy took a downturn. IFAW awarded them a grant to buy food and other vital things for the chimps until finances improved.

A responsible wildlife sanctuary will always consider if taking in more animals will pose a financial strain and possible collapse, putting the animals already at the sanctuary at risk. IFAW establishes how best we can support these sanctuaries over the hump of an influx of animals or unavoidable occurrences such as an economy slump. 

IFAW aims to help animals in crisis situations where immediate intervention is necessary. IFAW grants have provided much-needed funds to help. Thanks to our supporters we are able to provide the money necessary to finance a helping hand which will directly help animals – immediately.


Donate now to give these chimps and other primates a second chance.

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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy