We are concerned about a plan that's surfaced to transfer chimpanzees to an unsuitable location. Yerkes National Primate Research Center, a laboratory located in Atlanta, is seeking to transfer six female and two male chimpanzees to an unaccredited zoo in England called Wingham Wildlife Park. This substandard exhibition facility has not previously managed a group of chimpanzees, and has not demonstrated that it has the financial capacity to provide care for the chimpanzees. Worse, Wingham Wildlife Park allows the public to have physical contact with exotic animals for a fee - a dangerous situation for both humans and the animals.
Exporting the chimpanzees to an unaccredited zoo would not enhance the survival of the species in the wild, as required by the Endangered Species Act, and it will be difficult for this transfer to occur legally.
The HSUS is submitting comments to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and notifying chimpanzee experts, conservation organizations, and the public so that they can weigh in, too. We believe that Yerkes should assume responsibility for proper placement for its chimpanzees, and provide financial support to any accredited sanctuary that accepts them.