Cathy Willis Spraetz

Kate Archer Kent

Chimp Haven, the national chimpanzee sanctuary in Keithville, Louisiana, is completing construction on what it calls a welcome center.

Chimp Haven

The national chimpanzee sanctuary in Keithville, La., is making accommodations to care for 111 newly-retired government-owned chimps that were used in medical research over the years. To date, Chimp Haven has taken in 50 of the chimps from the New Iberia Research Center. Chimp Haven President Cathy Willis Spraetz said the remaining 61 will not be relocated to the sanctuary until September.

“We will delay the transport of those chimpanzees until the fall because the brutal summer can be really devastating, particularly for an elderly chimpanzee," Spraetz said.

Kate Archer Kent

The introduction of new chimpanzees into the established groups at Chimp Haven can be tricky. There tends to be some infighting at first. Eight federally-owned former research chimps from New Iberia are learning to live in their new groups at the national sanctuary in Keithville, La. Chimp Haven is now home to 169 retired chimps.