Albuquerque, N.M. – New Mexico Foundation, a Santa Fe-based endowment-building and grant-making organization stewarding resources, building partnerships, and creating opportunities that transform lives and communities throughout New Mexico, announces the award of a grant totaling $150,000 from its Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund to Chimp Haven, Inc., a national not-for-profit sanctuary for chimpanzees retired from medical research based in Keithville, La. The award will support the 76 New Mexico chimps now retired and residing at Chimp Haven.
Chimp Haven is a private, nonprofit refuge on 200 acres of forested land in Northwest Louisiana. It’s home to more than 300 chimps already retired from biomedical research. While federal funds cover a crucial portion of the lifetime care of these government-owned chimps, the organization relies entirely on the generosity of donors to cover the construction necessary to welcome even more retirees into Chimp Haven’s care. “We are thrilled to receive a grant from the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund at New Mexico Foundation to support chimps from New Mexico. These deserving individuals now spend their days climbing trees, living in large bonded social groups, eating their favorite fruits, running, playing, and exploring their surroundings at the sanctuary,” said Rana Smith, president and chief executive officer of Chimp Haven.
While 76 New Mexico chimps reside at Chimp Haven, the state currently has an additional 37 chimps located at Holloman Airforce Base in Alamogordo, N.M. Although these chimpanzees are no longer needed for invasive research, NIH has kept the chimps at a laboratory facility on the air force base rather than relocating them to Chimp Haven. “The surviving Alamogordo chimps remaining in New Mexico deserve a better quality of life that only sanctuary can provide,” said Laura Bonar, chief program and policy officer with Animal Protection of New Mexico. “The NIH decision for the chimps to remain on Holloman Air Force Base keeps them in an environment which cannot meet their complex emotional and psychological needs and remains a high cost to tax payers.”