NIH: Last federal chimps to head to sanctuary by fall 2026

August 11, 2016 by Janet Mcconnaughey

The National Institutes of Health says its last chimpanzees should be moved from Texas and New Mexico to a sanctuary in Louisiana by fall 2026.

A retirement plan announced Thursday for about 360 still in federal custody said the moves could be completed in 2023 if Chimp Haven can expand fast enough.

The sanctuary's director says that's entirely doable. Cathy Willis Spraetz (SPRATZ) says she's working on a plan to raise money for expansion.

Spraetz says the northwest Louisiana sanctuary now holds 204 animals and has room for 75 more, including quarantine space for up to 25.

NIH officials said in 2013 they were ending research on humanity's closest living relatives but would keep 50 in reserve. In November, the agency said those 50 would also go to sanctuary.

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