Jen Feuerstein, Sanctuary Director
Save the Chimps
PO Box 12220
Fort Pierce, FL 34979
Save the Chimps (originally known as the Center for Captive Chimpanzee Care) was founded in 1997 by biological anthropologist Dr. Carole Noon, Project R&R Advisory Board member, in response to the U.S. Air Force announcing that they were ending their use of chimpanzees in research. Instead of being released into sanctuary, the majority of the Air Force chimpanzees were sent to the notorious Coulston Foundation, a private biomedical research lab in New Mexico with a horrific history of Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations, for continuing use in research. Save the Chimps sued the Air Force and after a year-long legal battle, they were successful in gaining custody of 21 chimpanzees, some of whom had been originally captured in Africa and used for air and space research. The 21 chimpanzees were relocated to the Save the Chimps sanctuary in Fort Pierce, Florida. In 2002, Dr. Noon rescued 266 more chimpanzees from the Coulston Foundation. Save the Chimps took control of the laboratory facility and steadily improved the lives of the chimpanzees while they awaited construction of their permanent home in Florida. As of December 14, 2011, all of the former Coulston chimpanzees have been relocated to permanent sanctuary in Florida.
To accommodate the nearly 300 chimpanzees now living at Save the Chimps, the sanctuary transformed “150 acres of old orange groves into twelve islands with twelve connecting houses.” Each three-acre island allows the chimpanzees “to run and roam, visit with friends or find a quiet corner to relax, bask in the sun or curl up in the shade.” For chimpanzees bred in captivity, Save the Chimps is their first taste of life without bars and for many others, their first opportunity to live in a large family group. And for those captured in Africa, who may have roamed free with their mothers, it may be their first taste of freedom since childhood.