"We're making history here," Sarah Baeckler Davis, president of Project Chimps, said in a statement. "It's an unprecedented collaboration and a momentous occasion for chimpanzees."
It will be one of the largest chimp releases in history, and the first time that a private research program has agreed to release all of its chimps - reflecting a significant change in public acceptance of chimp experimentation.
"There is one 1-year-old, that's the youngest, and they go up through grandmas and grandpas," Baeckler Davis told The Dodo. The oldest is 50. Most of the 220 chimps were born into New Iberia's breeding program; the oldest ones were likely taken from the wild.
For many, Project Chimps will be their first taste of life outside a lab.
"It's a whole new world for these guys," Baeckler Davis added.