How Save the Chimps Builds Community


Save the Chimps is a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing chimpanzees and rehousing them in our animal sanctuary. We rescue chimpanzees all over the United States that have been exploited by the research, entertainment, and pet trade industries. After their rescue, our chimps are housed in our 150-acre animal sanctuary. Unlike other animal facilities, our sanctuary is designed specifically for the individual and social welfare of the chimpanzees. Our facility includes 12 self-contained islands, allowing the chimps to form necessary social communities without conflict or imposing barriers.

These islands are beneficial because chimps are social animals. Social animals are those whose natural lives involve creating social bonds and relying on those bonds for survival. Chimps naturally form communities in the wild and do the same in captivity. As social animals, chimps also exhibit hierarchical and territorial aspects of sociality. Our chimps are placed in large social groups and a large space where they can live as naturally as possible in captivity. Our chimps fight and have hierarchies, but this is a necessary part of being a chimp. Just like chimps in the wild, these qualities are crucial to their ability to survive with large social groups. Islands surrounded by water give chimp communities ample space all to themselves. In addition, their constant food supply removes some incentive for conflict within communities.

While chimps form communities between 15-150 members in the wild, our communities contain no more than 26 members. This allows us to closely monitor the relationships between the chimps and ensure their wellbeing. One of the most interesting moments at the Save the Chimps sanctuary are the introduction of new chimps into a community.

Save the Chimps relies on donations and support from all over the United States. We always need volunteers to assist in the activities of the sanctuary. Donations are always welcome as well. You can symbolically adopt a chimp in the sanctuary, learning more about them and providing for them. Alternatively, we accept donations of necessary supplies, toys, and food. Learn more by visiting our website.