Chimp Haven will soon welcome more than 100 retired research chimpanzees from the New Iberia Research Center in Lafayette, which would more than double the population at the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary. The National Institutes of Health has announced that all the chimpanzees currently at the south Louisiana laboratory will be retired to Chimp Haven over the next 12 to 15 months.

This group of chimps has been at the center of controversy since September, when the NIH announced that they would be sent to another lab in San Antonio, Texas, rather than being retired at Chimp Haven.

The cost is the biggest issue. The local sanctuary has to raise $5-million for habitat expansion and the lifetime care of the chimps. It's even established a dedicated fund called "The Road to Chimp Haven Campaign." NIH is providing 75% of the cost to care for the chimps, but can't help with the construction.

Some major supporters have stepped up, though. The New England Antivivisection Society was the first to donate...$100,000. The Humane Society of the United States pledged $500,000, and the National Anti-Vivisection Society has given a grant of $25,000. But there's still a long way to go. Visit Chimp Haven's website if you'd like to help.

I talked with outgoing Chimp Haven Board President and Executive Director, Dr. Linda Brent, about the good news. You can listen to that interview here: