A Zoo-sanctuary Partnership for Chimpanzees
Lincoln Park Zoo and the national chimpanzee sanctuary, Chimp Haven, have teamed up in an unprecedented partnership to advance care for chimpanzees at both institutions and beyond.
Each organization is renowned for the depth of its commitment to chimpanzees. Scientists with Lincoln Park Zoo’s Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes research chimpanzee tool-use, behavior, and cognition at the zoo’s state-of-the-art Regenstein Center for African Apes and also work to study and conserve the endangered species in the Republic of Congo’s remote Goualougo Triangle. Chimp Haven, located near Shreveport, Louisiana, offers an engaging home and lifetime care for more than 300 chimpanzees retired from research laboratories.
The collaboration—the first major partnership between an accredited zoo and an accredited chimpanzee sanctuary in the United States—established a full-time Lincoln Park Zoo researcher at Chimp Haven. Fisher Center Research Assistant Ben Lake spends his days monitoring social interactions and other behaviors among Chimp Haven’s chimpanzees. His observations, alongside thousands of hours of data collected at both sites, will offer new insights into chimpanzee behavior and preferences, helping us improve care for this complex species.
Lincoln Park Zoo and Chimp Haven are also partnering to share expertise in areas ranging from learning programs and animal care to infrastructure design. By pooling their knowledge, the two organizations have developed a one-of-a-kind partnership that will serve as a new model for zoo-sanctuary collaborations, even as it improves the lives of chimpanzees.