Retired game show host Bob Barker has made a generous donation to Chimp Haven that will provide immediate relief for five HIV-infected chimpanzees from Texas who desperately need a permanent home.
Barker learned that the chimps had been left behind at a facility that had closed down from overcrowding and a lack of money. Other sanctuaries took in many of the Texas facilities animals, but none wanted to take in Doc, JoJo, Murphy, Flick and Pierre because of their illness. The plight of the primates sent the television celebrity into action.
Barker’s contribution of $230,000 to Chimp Haven, Inc. will help the chimpanzee sanctuary begin building a habitat for the Texas chimpanzees. Barker will also be underwriting the cost of their care for one year.
He said of his actions, “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.”
Chimp Haven President, Dr. Linda Brent, hopes that Barker’s generous gesture will inspire others to follow his lead. The sanctuary wants to expand its accommodations for non-government supported chimpanzees who are in need of a home. Barker’s donation helped the non-profit begin the process of expansion while also providing immediate relief to the five Texas chimps. But more money is needed for the sanctuary to complete its mission.
According to Chimp Haven, “The core construction to provide immediate refuge to the five chimpanzees is estimated to cost $170,000, but a minimum of an additional $200,000 is needed to complete the overall project.”
The mission of Chimp Haven is to provide a safe place for chimpanzees to live out their lives in a large, naturalistic enclosure. The primates housed in the sanctuary come from varying backgrounds. Some come from the entertainment industry, others come into the sanctuary after being retired from medical research, and other primates are those who were no longer wanted as pets.
The national chimpanzee sanctuary provides over 200 acres for chimps to be free and live in as if in the wild, with minimal human contact. The non-profit is located in Shreveport, Louisiana and uses the sanctuary as a way to educate the public about endangered nonhuman primates.
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