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Project Chimps sanctuary welcomes its oldest residents


On Thursday, 10 female chimpanzees made the trek from Louisiana to Project Chimps in North Georgia where they joined 39 other former research chimps who call the 236-acre sanctuary home. 

Precious, 28, who suffers with chronic kidney disease, Jill 28, and Jurita and Jamie, both 29, are the oldest chimpanzees to date that have retired to Project Chimps. Other chimpanzees in the group are Torian, 10; Tiffany, 10; Tristen, 9; Sophia, 9; Krystal, 8; and Haylee, 8. 

>> READ MORE: New life for former research chimps

The chimps are the latest group to come from the New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) in Louisiana. The facility has worked with Project Chimps since 2016 to relocate more than 200 chimpanzees retired from research to a permanent home at the sanctuary.

The new arrivals will live in Villa 3 aka “The Chimps Ahoy Villa” made possible by longtime celebrity supporter Kat Von D. 

During a 30-day quarantine, the chimps will have the chance to experience new sights, sounds and foods as they adjust to their new surroundings including the group of six male chimps who live on the other half of the villa. 

With 49 chimps to feed -- a cost of about $2,000 per week -- Project Chimps has created The Welcome Home Campaign which ends Aug. 31. Supporters can choose a tax-deductible donation to help provide food, blankets and more for the chimps.

Anyone who donates $1,000 or more will also receive an exclusive invitation to a live-stream viewing to see this new group of chimps go outside for the first time (after the 30-day quarantine).

Donors can also feed the chimps with Welcome Home Meals  -- $49 will feed a chimp for one week; $98 for two weeks; $210 for one month; and $2,555 for one year.


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About the Author

Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.