SNPRC houses more than 100 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). We’re one of only five large research centers in the United States with the specialized experience and facilities to care for these great apes.
SNPRC no longer performs any invasive research on chimpanzees. On February 9, 2016, the NIH decided to no longer maintain chimpanzees for the potential of future research. Consistent with this decision, NIH ceased to support research using chimpanzees except efforts permissible in the federal sanctuary system under the Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance and Protection (CHIMP) Act.
In August 2016, The NIH announced its plan for retiring all NIH-owned and NIH-supported chimpanzees to Chimp Haven. The report indicates that the NIH-supported chimpanzees at SNPRC will be moved as space becomes available. Until this time, chimpanzees at SNPRC will continue to receive the extraodinary care that has always been provided to this population.
Chimpanzees at SNPRC do not live in a laboratory; they live in exceptional facilities that provide year round indoor – outdoor access with play grounds. They live in social environments with other chimpanzees and are cared for by a large staff of veterinarians and behavioral scientists with decades of experience working with chimpanzees. Our chimpanzee care team has worked with these animals for decades and has developed strong bonds with each of them.
Chimpanzees have been of great benefit to life-saving research. SNPRC’s chimpanzees served as models for infectious disease research and were critical to developing vaccines for Hepatitis A and B and to developing curative therapies for Hepatitis C. Notable breakthrough research involving chimpanzees include:
- Development of the HBV vaccine used worldwide.
- Discovery of the infectious agent HCV
- Development of HCV therapies that cure infection with 12 weeks withoral medications
- Historic breakthroughs in HIV research prior to discovery of SIV
Chimpanzee Gallery Click image below to enlarge