Washington chimp sanctuary reacts to NIH ruling
The chimps know what time it is: lunch time at chimpanzee sanctuary Northwest.
Soon they're chomping away on sweet potatoes, lettuce and watermelon.
These former medical research chimps are living large .
They have no way of knowing that some of their very own offspring will soon be enjoying the same lifestyle.
"Knowing that there are over 300 individual chimpanzees, just like the individual chimpanzees we care for, that will be able to have a sanctuary life, is incredible."
The head of the National Institute of Health announced today it is phasing out its use of chimps for medical research.
Chimps just like these that were once subjected to diseases and experimental medicines will moved to sanctuaries after spending years in the lab.
"Hell basically. Living in small groups. Sometimes living in isolation. Especially if they were used in protocols."
Chimps that have spent their lives in tiny rooms behind bars will go from guinea pig to the good life if they can find room at a limited number of sanctuaries.
"It does bring up an interesting question. All of a sudden are going to release 300 of these guys from labs, is there enough sanctuary room for them around the country?"
"There's not currently enough room and so the big question is funding, where is the money going to come from?"
Taking care of chimps is expensive. After years of being poked and prodded they cannot be trusted around humans.
They require extensive security measures, food medical care and space to roam. Not much to ask say supporters for all they've done for medical research.