May 21 is Endangered Species Day

Did you know that chimpanzees are on the endangered species list? Chimpanzees have not always been a protected species. Learn more about our closest living relative and their history:

🌍 In 1960, Dr. Jane Goodall first stepped foot in what is now Gombe Stream National Park to study wild chimpanzees. At that time, it was sadly still legal to capture and import chimpanzees to the United States for use in medical research.

🌎 In the 1970s, the Endangered Species Act passed in the USA and it became illegal to import chimpanzees into the country.

🔬 Many of our own residents, like Debbie and Yvette, were born in the wild in Africa before the passage of the Endangered Species Act and sent to the former Coulston Foundation laboratory in New Mexico, before finding a peaceful and dignified retirement at Save the Chimps.

🙈 In 1990, the USFWS declared wild chimpanzees endangered, but captive chimpanzees were listed as “threatened,” denying them the protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act. Unfortunately, this split-listing allowed laboratory testing on chimpanzees to continue.

😔 It is estimated that there was once one million wild chimpanzees living across the continent of Africa, whereas today it is estimated that there are just 172,000 to 300,000 remaining.

🐵 In 2015, this so-called “split listing” came to an end. Extending the endangered species designation to captive chimpanzees helped end medical experimentation. It also made it more difficult for people to use chimpanzees in the entertainment industry and the pet trade.

Save the Chimps’ mission is to provide sanctuary and exemplary care to chimpanzees in need. Your support makes this possible. Give today and your donation will be matched by our Board of Directors, having twice the impact on our more than 200 residents. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of chimpanzees.