In a movement taking place via the nonprofit organization Project Chimps, 220 laboratory chimpanzees that have served their time as scientific experiments will be relocated to a sanctuary where they can live their lives in freedom.
They’ll be coming from a research lab inside of the University of Louisiana, and their new sanctuary will be in Blue Ridge, Georgia. The move is expected to occur in June, Project Chimps co-founder Sarah Baeckler Davis explained. It could take years for this to fully unfold.
This sanctuary was originally built for gorillas, however it never really reached full capacity. Now, it'll finally be getting some use. The release of the 220 chimpanzees is one of the largest ever from a non-federal laboratory.
The laboratory chimpanzees could have undergone all kinds of testing, such as testing new medications, researching their lifestyle, or studying their behavior. Nevertheless, the general consensus is that it isn’t humane and they should be released to live their own lives.
The University of Louisiana notes that the majority of the chimpanzees that are being released have never actually been a part of any scientific experiments, and they insist that the animals were well maintained and had access to the outdoors and Sunlight.
The University of Louisiana’s laboratory also has many other animals in captivity in the name of science. As noted by the USDA, those include:
Many feel for the poor animals, which don’t get to experience life to their fullest. Organizations push for their freedom; however, no such luck exists in getting them released.
Project Chimps aims to free more laboratory animals, chimpanzees especially, throughout the United States and not just from the University of Louisiana.
As the United States moves closer to non-primate test subjects in the name of science, this is an important step forward in improving the quality of life for laboratory chimpanzees that need to be retired from their positions.