LAS CRUCES, N.M. — From 226 down to 82. Save the Chimps is continuing to move apes from their current steel cages in Alamogordo, N.M., to a sanctuary in Florida.

“Slowly but steady,” said sanctuary director Jenn Feuerstein.

Since KFOX first visited the Alamogordo site in February, Save the Chimps has transferred seven apes. Feuerstein said most of the chimps have lived a life of biomedical research and entertainment.

“They would’ve injected them with toxins, experimental drugs to see the effects on the body, so they might have lived alone and had lots of needles stuck in them,” said Feuerstein.

Feuerstein said they are on schedule with relocation and this fall hope to transfer another 26 chimps. The goal is to have all chimps gone by the middle of next year. ”

Getting them to live in a family group and be compatible with each other can take several months up to one year, just to do one group,” said Feuerstein.

It’s a slow, delicate process but worth the wait.

“It’s been wonderful, it’s been really, really nice to see them on an island. They don’t have bars in the way. They have trees to climb, platforms, and they really really blossom while they’re there,” said Feuerstein.

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