Save the Chimps

A nonprofit organization

$96,406 raised by 867 donors

100% complete

$90,000 Goal

Enriching Lives with Wild-Inspired Habitats

In the wild, chimpanzees live in groups of 15-120 group members in “fission-fusion” societies in which all community members know each other but feed, travel, and sleep in much smaller groups of six or fewer. By providing our residents with large 3- to 5-acre island habitats, the chimps can choose who to spend their time with and where. With this space and freedom, they have the opportunity to form friendships, alliances, and hierarchies that are vital to group-level stability and their own well-being.

Each resident rescued by Save the Chimps has their special moment. The moment the door to the island is opened, they can experience grass, trees, blue skies, and freedom, many for the first time in their lives. While our expansive islands offer them these freedoms, they were created over twenty years ago, and our goal is to update these habitats to create a more engaging environment that allows for increased activity.

New trees, engaging enrichment, shaded areas, and structures at Save the Chimps can help to enrich the lives of the chimpanzees in our care, providing them with shade from the sun’s rays when desired, places to climb, swing, nest, and brachiate, as well as the opportunity to enjoy companionship and new experiences.

 Save the Chimps' 150-acre sanctuary consists of twelve family groups, each with a 3-5 acre island attached to a building. The residents have the space and freedom to choose where to spend their time. 

What an expansive, enriched habitat means to our residents:

Room to Run - Doc grew up in a medical research laboratory and, for nearly three decades, had just 25 square feet of floor space. After arriving at Save the Chimps, it did not take him long to embrace his new freedom. Here, Doc learned that he loved to run and can often be seen running upright across his three-acre island home.
The Sky's the Limit - In a viral moment seen around the world, Vanilla stepped onto her new island home and was in awe of the sight of the sky without the interruption of caging. Vanilla will never have to go another day without the infinite sky over her head and green grass beneath her feet. A moment she is able to embrace thanks to the enriched island habitats our residents call home.
Natural Behaviors - Not only has Lisa Marie adjusted to island life after her rescue from a basement, but she has also taken to climbing the oak trees on the island. Upgrading the islands and planting more trees will increase the opportunity for our residents to exhibit natural behaviors like climbing.
Enriching Opportunities - Butch spent his younger years in three different research labs. Through observations, we determined that Butch avoids large crowds of chimpanzees, often choosing to stay indoors instead of going to the island where the group congregates. By adding a new land feeder close to the chimp house, we provided Butch and his family with an additional place for shade and enrichment, inspiring Butch to feel comfortable venturing outside. Installing these platforms on more islands will continue to offer our residents additional shade and enrichment opportunities.

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Organization Data


Organization name

Save the Chimps

Tax id (EIN)



North America

Apes Categories



PO BOX 12220