SEEKING SHELTER: Surplus lab chimps need a place to stay.
While no plans are under way to build them a golf course or shuffleboard court, a nonprofit organization has been established to create a "retirement home" for chimpanzees not needed in biomedical or behavioral research. Chimp Haven, a San Antonio, Texas-based group, aims to build a facility to provide long-term housing for the unneeded chimps. The United States has a surplus of chimpanzees bred for research purposes, a result of the success of a National Institutes of Health-funded breeding program established in the 1980s, the decrease in use of the chimp model for testing of HIV vaccines, and the fact that the animals can live for up to 60 years. Currently, more than 1,500 chimps are housed in U.S. labs, according to Chimp Haven. Linda Brent, a Ph.D. anthropologist who chairs the group's board of directors, notes that its...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?