Emory NPRC Donates 11 Chimpanzees to the Indianapolis Zoo

May 25, 2024

Media Contacts

Lisa Newbern
p: 404-727-7709
e: lisa.newbern@emory.edu

The Emory National Primate Research Center (EPC) has donated 11 chimpanzees to the Indianapolis Zoo. These animals will live in a newly constructed enclosure with 10 other chimpanzees and have access to trails that stretch directly over public walkways, offering visitors one-of-a-kind experiences. The grand opening for the new exhibit is Saturday, May 25. 

“Since 2015, the EPC has donated 35 chimpanzees to zoos and wildlife parks, and continues to serve as a resource to those who now care for the donated animals,” says Joyce Cohen, VMD, DACLAM, EPC associate director for animal resources. “We are thrilled so many of the EPC’s chimpanzees remain together at the Indianapolis Zoo and look forward to them integrating with the Zoo’s other chimpanzees in the new, innovative habitat,” she continues. 

“We have worked with the Indianapolis Zoo for several years to prepare for this donation,” says R. Paul Johnson, MD, EPC director. “The Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan, which helps guide the management of zoo chimpanzee populations, has also been a critical partner in the Emory Primate Center’s chimpanzee donations. We appreciate these collaborative relationships and are confident the chimpanzees we donated to the Indianapolis Zoo will thrive in their new home and delight visitors.” 

The mission of the Indianapolis Zoo, which opened in 1964, is to protect nature and inspire people to care for our world. More than 1,400 animals representing 285 species live at the 64-acre zoo, which maintains accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Alliance of Museums. The zoo, which is also a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, has approximately 1.2 million guests annually.

“It has been a pleasure collaborating with the Emory Primate Center, and we are immensely appreciative of their generosity and collegiality. It is our privilege to care for these 11 remarkable chimpanzees and provide a home for them in Indianapolis. Their transition to the zoo and ongoing integration with our other 10 chimpanzees has been inspiring. We are thrilled to have a dynamic community of chimpanzees in our new complex,” says Robert Shumaker, PhD, Indianapolis Zoo president & CEO.

"The Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan welcomed the opportunity to continue collaborating with the Emory National Primate Research Center on its chimpanzee donation plans. Our long-term relationship has ensured the chimpanzees continue to receive expert care and the public benefits from educational programs about this endangered species,” says Tina Cloutier Barbour, PhD, Chimpanzee SSP program leader.

Dedicated to discovering causes, preventions, treatments and cures, the Emory National Primate Research Center (EPC), part of Emory University’s Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, is fighting diseases and improving human health and lives worldwide. The center, one of only seven NPRCs the National Institutes of Health (NIH) partially funds, is supported by more than $90 million in research funding (all sources, fiscal year 2023). EPC researchers are making landmark discoveries in microbiology and immunology; neurologic diseases; neuropharmacology; behavioral, cognitive, and developmental neuroscience; and psychiatric disorders. Since 1984, the center has been fully accredited by the AAALAC International, regarded as the gold seal of approval for laboratory animal care.

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