There are approximately 1,000 chimpanzees currently in U.S. laboratories, and another 500 held in
federally owned facilities. Many of these chimpanzees were captured from the wild as infants and have
spent decades in cages the size of a kitchen table, subject to repeated invasive procedures and
breeding. Just imagine what it would feel like to spend 50 to 60 years trapped inside a 5-by-7-by-7 cage.
One chimpanzee in a US laboratory was referred to by lab personnel as “The Lump” because he was
so depressed he would not move.
There are currently 86 chimpanzees at Yerkes National Primate Center (at Emory University in
Atlanta, Georgia) some of which are the oldest living chimpanzees held in research facilities.
The most recent records show that Yerkes has 6 chimpanzees who are over 50 years of age, 14 over
40 years of age, and 27 over 30 years of age. Many of these chimpanzees have been in research
facilities their entire lives.
Chimpanzees in research facilities suffer continual trauma, pain, and isolation. Chimpanzees who are
born in research facilities are taken from their mothers the day of their birth and put into
research. Removing infant chimpanzees from their mothers causes extreme distress to the mother
and infant. Orphaned baby chimpanzees in the wild often die from grief when losing their mothers, even
though they are cared for by other chimpanzees in the tribe.
Chimpanzees are our closet relative who share 98.4 % of our DNA. They show affection towards
each other by hugging, kissing, and holding hands, and in the wild have been observed using tools.
Chimpanzees are extremely intelligent and sensitive beings and have even learned to communicate
with humans by using the American Sign Language system.
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