Retire the Chimps!

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In 2000, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) seized 288 chimps from failing private laboratory The Coulston Foundation (read more about the egregious federal violations and terrible conditions at The Coulston Foundation) but would not permanently retire them, they were held instead as a "research reserve colony" on the Alamogordo Primate Facility on Holloman Air Force Base.


In addition to 152 chimps currently living at the APF, 20 chimps formerly held in New Mexico are currently held at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute. Learn more about these chimps at and take action now to help them to sanctuary. Please act now, before it’s too late!

According to National Institutes of Health records, the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) holds 169 chimpanzees as of November 1, 2011. The photos and records linked here are NIH records received via Freedom of Information Act requests unless otherwise noted. Please check back often as we continue to post records as we receive them. All of these chimps need permanent retirement and sanctuary care.

Alamogordo Primate Facility

Flo is the oldest chimp at the APF, captured in the wild, the NIH estimates her age to be 54. Flo was used in a circus and exhibited at a zoo before being purchased by a lab in 1972 for use in research in New Mexico. Among her lab uses, Flo was part of a breeding program and gave birth to four infants only to have the babies taken away immediately or days later for use in research.

Nicole was born in the lab on February 25th, 1983, and used for liver biopsies starting when she was only 13 months old. A former employee gave this testimonial about Nicole "Nicole was my best chimp buddy! She was 4 or 5 years old when we met. We had a wonderful rapport that I will NEVER forget. She was very easy to recognize because she had the most distinct, light brown eyes. She was beautiful, sensitive and gentle...

We would sit with each other every day. She had the most incredible sense of musical timing. I would sing to her and with the back of her hand she would take her nails and strum them across the chain link cage twice *Plink Plink* and then clap her hands twice *Clap Clap*. She would do this series of plinks and claps (always twice) in perfect rhythm to the song I was singing at the time."
- Holly, former maintenance worker

Danny was born in the lab on January 15th, 1982. He became ill at the end of 1987 and had a leg amputated in 1988, a testimonial from a former employee notes, "His recovery from the amputation was fairly quick, but he was left severely mentally impaired.” Less than two months after the amputation Danny was loaned to another research lab.

Heidi was born in the lab in 1984. Her mother, Negra, resides at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. Heidi has two siblings, Angel and Noah, in sanctuary at Save The Chimps.

Robbie is the youngest chimp at the APF, born on March 3, 1998, after the federal chimp breeding moratorium was in place.

The laboratory Texas Biomed (formerly known as the Southwest National Primate Research Center) holds at least 25 APF chimps, 14 transferred in 2010, and 12 transferred in 2005.


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The National Institutes of Health holds custody to nearly 200 chimpanzees from the Alamogordo Primate Facility. These chimps are the survivors of long and difficult years in research laboratories. You can help give them some peace and dignity at the end of their lives.

Write to the National Institutes of Health today!


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