In 2015 The National Institutes of Health ended its support for invasive research on chimpanzees, continuing the retirement of federally owned research chimpanzees it started in 2013. In 2015 the Fish and Wildlife Service reclassified research chimpanzees as endangered, further restricting chimpanzee research under a permitting system.
The research chimpanzees retired by the NIH (a process that has not gone well) have been guaranteed spots in a Louisiana sanctuary. Research chimpanzees not held by the government do not have such a guarantee, but a reserve in Georgia has been redeveloped to fill that need. It’s not the only option for those 300 or so chimps that need a home. They could retire in place, or be transferred to other research centers or zoos.
Project Chimps spearheaded the effort, which should help address this need. The sanctuary
has taken its first group of chimps, and expects to host over 250 animals.