Bob Barker is inviting five Texas chimps to “come on down” to Louisiana.
As part of a relocation effort, the former game show host and longtime animal-rights activist recently donated $230,000 to the Keithville, LA-based Chimp Haven sanctuary. The money will be used to expand the existing chimp habitat to make room for the new chimpanzees, who were living in a now-bankrupt Texas research laboratory.
In addition to helping fund the expansion, his donation will also cover the Texas chimps’ care for one year, and serves as the launching pad for Chimp Haven’s plan to provide more homes to non-government supported chimps in need.
According to Barker, Chimp Haven is a model sanctuary, featuring 200-acres of forest that allows chimps to live as though they are in the wild.
Of the new chimps, he said, “These chimpanzees have spent their entire lives on concrete in cages. They will now be able to climb and swing and hoot through the forest-like surroundings of Chimp Haven. They are curious and smart and are expected to adapt well to their new surroundings.”
Although Barker’s significant donation will save the Texas chimpanzees, more aid is needed. Chimp Haven, which serves as the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary, hopes others will follow in his footsteps to help the more than 1,000 chimps in U.S. research labs, entertainment venues and private homes be relocated.
“I hope Mr. Barker’s generous gesture will inspire others to follow his example so that we can complete this project and bring more chimpanzees to Chimp Haven,” said Chimp Haven President Dr. Linda Brent. While Barker’s assistance will certainly get the project off the ground, she estimates an additional $200,000 will be needed to complete it.
Check out the campaign website to donate to Chimp Haven.