3 IN YOUR TOWN: Project Chimps
Project Chimps provides lifelong care to former research chimpanzees at its 236-acre forested sanctuary in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Project Chimps has an agreement with the medical research facility that has the largest population of privately-owned chimpanzees in the world, which allows us to bring the lab's chimpanzees to permanent sanctuary.
"Chimpanzees have been used in research for over 100 years," explains Project Chimp executive director, Ali Crumpacker. "It dates back to the space shuttle, crash test dummy, different types of research. In 2015 that finally came to an end. A group of advocates had been fighting for over a decade and finally had their voices heard. All chimpanzees who had been used in research had been declared endangered species and under the protection of the Endangered species Act, they could no longer be used in that research again."
There are currently 59 chimpanzees living at the Project Chimps sanctuary, but they are growing fast. Eventually, the facility expects to house over 200 chimpanzees coming from private research facilities.
It is important to know that Project Chimps is not a zoo. There are however some select days you can visit. Project Chimps is always searching for volunteers to work at their facility in Blue Ridge, Georgia. But if you can't make the two hour trip from Chattanooga, there are other ways to help out.
"The different ways you can support chimps if you can't actually come here and chop up their favorite fruits and vegetables would be to make a contribution," says Crumpacker. "You can go onto our Amazon Wish List and select a special gift so you can pick the thing that you know they would like from you."