FORT PIERCE – Save the Chimps will host its bi-annual Member Day where as many as 400 supportive Members will tour the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary to catch a glimpse of nearly 250 rescued chimpanzees. Save the Chimps is closed to the public, but Member Day offers a unique opportunity for people to tour the 150-acre sanctuary.
The tour covers 1.25 miles of the expansive sanctuary in Fort Pierce. Members will observe the chimpanzees on their islands landscaped with grass, palm trees, hills, and climbing structures. These features all allow chimpanzees to run and play and visit with family and friends. They also can find a quiet corner to relax in and space to bask in the sun or curl up in the shade.
In 1997 Carole Noon was inspired to help chimpanzees after meeting Dr. Jane Goodall in the early 1980’s and founded Save the Chimps. This year Save the Chimps celebrates its 20th Anniversary. Dr. Noon received her Ph.D. in biological anthropology from the University of Florida, specializing in the socialization of captive chimpanzees.
She envisioned a sanctuary that could provide permanent sanctuary to chimpanzees abandoned by the United States Air Force. The Air Force initially rejected her proposal to care for the chimpanzees and instead gave them to the Coulston Foundation, a now defunct laboratory with the most Animal Welfare Act violations in history. Dr. Noon sued the Air Force on behalf of the Coulston chimpanzees.
After a year-long legal struggle, the lawsuit was settled out of court in Dr. Noon’s favor. Generous financial support provided by the Arcus Foundation allowed the 266 chimpanzees to be rescued from Coulston. The 150-acre Save the Chimps sanctuary in Ft. Pierce, is now their permanent home.
The annual cost of care for a single chimpanzee is $16,000. Member Day gives supporters an opportunity to witness the benefits of their generosity first-hand, providing guests with a unique window into the lives and needs of nearly 250 chimpanzees living at the Sanctuary.
Join Save the Chimps Saturday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Sanctuary in Fort Pierce, (directions available upon request). There are nine scheduled guided tours. Tours run every 30 minutes and last approximately 60-90 minutes. Both walking and trolley tours are offered. For more details visit savethechimps.org/member-day or call (772) 429-2225.
Save the Chimps is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing sanctuary and exemplary care to chimpanzees in need. For more information, visit www.savethechimps.org or facebook.com/savethechimps.