The Humane Society of the United States, which was a leader in the successful fight to end the use of chimpanzees in research, has for years been the biggest supporter and donor to Project Chimps, a Georgia sanctuary that cares for chimpanzees retired from New Iberia Research Center.
The sanctuary has always planned to expand living spaces for its animals and increase the size of its top-notch outdoor habitat. After more than five years of providing significant yearly financial and administrative support, in 2022, the HSUS will amplify its commitment to Project Chimps, pledging an additional $20 million. This pledge includes an initial grant of $5 million that will serve as a major kickstart toward the total funds needed for the sanctuary’s second large outdoor habitat and housing construction, and up to an additional $15 million over the next 10 years, to support the sanctuary’s operational needs and help it move toward becoming fully independent.
Project Chimps will require further support from donors to achieve its full expansion plan, but the HSUS anticipates that this considerable influx of funds will enable Project Chimps to begin moving forward with their plans to construct expanded outdoor habitat.
The pledge will also help support Project Chimps in its long-term vision to bring in more of the chimpanzees who are currently still awaiting transport out of New Iberia Research Center, providing these animals with the enriched and caring environment they deserve and allowing them to reform cohesive and supportive social groups.
“The HSUS and other animal advocates worked for years to get chimpanzees out of medical research, and we were elated when that came to pass in 2015,” says Kitty Block, president and CEO of the HSUS. “It’s been inspiring to see these chimpanzees, who have endured so much, live out their lives in the enriched environment they now have thanks to the Project Chimps team. We’re excited to be able to support the sanctuary in expanding its capacity for care, providing more outdoor time for its current population and welcoming more chimpanzees to a peaceful retirement.”
“From its inception, Project Chimps has maintained the highest standards of professional excellence and provided exemplary care to all of its resident chimpanzees,” says Ali Crumpacker, executive director of Project Chimps. “We are grateful to have the continued support of the HSUS as we move forward into our final phases of construction so that we can welcome every chimpanzee from New Iberia to their new forever home. We will be relying on our fantastic donors, staff and volunteers to continue the journey.”
In addition to the funds, the HSUS will be continuing to provide ongoing staff support focused on helping the sanctuary raise the money to meet its full construction needs by the end of 2023.
- Anna West