One Small Step...the story of the space chimps
Center for Captive Chimpanzee Care
The Center for Captive
Chimpanzee Care was established in 1997 under the
leadership of Jane Goodall and Dr. Roger Fouts. It is the first
sanctuary in the United States dedicated exclusively to chimpanzees.
The sanctuary will provide a permanent home and lifetime
care to chimpanzees retired from research facilities or who have been
abandoned by owners no longer able to adequately care for them.
Once the Center is fully operational, it will be home to 150 chimpanzees.
The Center will also operate as an educational facility. They will
provide non-invasive, behavioral research opportunities for students
and will work to educate the public about the behavior and culture
of chimpanzees, the threats chimpanzees face in their natural habitats,
and current conservation programs.
In 1999, after a year long legal battle, The Center for Captive
Chimpanzee Care was awarded custody of 21 Air Force Chimps,
the direct descendants of the original Chimponauts used by NASA in the
After a two day trek across
the country the first group of chimps arrived at the Center for
Captive Chimpanzee Care on April 22, 2001.
Unsure of what to expect in terms of disposition or behavioral
abnormalities, the director of the center, Dr. Carole Noon,
tentatively opened the truck doors. The chimps peered out of their
cages and gave a few hoots of welcome. With very little coaxing the
chimps left their transport cages and entered their new home. Although
weary and hungry from their journey, and to Dr. Noon's
surprise and delight, the chimps were outwardly appreciative of their
new home and eager to meet face to face with their traveling
companions. A few months later, the next group of chimps arrived
at the Center with the same joy and appreciativeness of the first
As of October 2001, all of the chimps have been introduced to each other
and have established a colony. The chimps now look forward to moving
into their outdoor facility in December 2001.
Please visit the Center for Captive Chimpanzee Care web site at
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