Richardson Center lauds the coalition that helped retire 19 former New Mexican test chimps to Chimp Haven in Louisiana

After decades of struggling to secure their freedom, Animal Protection of New Mexico shares exclusive photos of 19 New Mexican research chimpanzees in their first months of safety.

KEITHVILLE, LA – After 30 plus years and more than 500 painful, invasive medical procedures, 19 New Mexico chimpanzees confined to a Texas research facility can finally live the life they deserve at Chimp Haven, a sanctuary in Keithville, La. Animal Protection of New Mexico (APNM), along with several partners, including former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, fought for more than 20 years to rescue these chimps and make their freedom a reality. The journey to sanctuary began in April, weeks after New Mexico Community Foundation’s Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund awarded Chimp Haven $85,500 in grant funding. The cost of caring for a chimpanzee in sanctuary can be over $15,000 a year.

“When the National Institutes of Health (NIH) agreed to retire all remaining chimpanzees held in research labs, we were so grateful they chose to do the right thing,” said Laura Bonar, chief program and policy officer for APNM and leader of the organization’s chimpanzee program. “We began working immediately to get these 19 chimps out of the lab where they have known so much suffering and into the natural surroundings of sanctuary.”

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