The sometimes controversial University of Louisiana's research center in New Iberia has announced that over 200 of its retired chimps will be moved to a new home.  These chimps have been used in some of the center's research programs and will now live out their retirement years at a sanctuary in Blue Ridge Georgia.

A non-profit organization, Chimps Now, has negotiated with the research center to move the 220 chimps to this sanctuary over the next few years.  Sarah Baeckler Davis, President of Chimps Now told the Louisiana Radio Network that the move will begin in June.

It’ll take several years for them to make their way to us and it’ll be about 10 per month until we have them all moved here.

Baeckler Davis suggest in her comments that the decision to move the retired chimps was based on changes in the way these chimps would be reclassified. In 2015 most of these animals became protected under the Endangered Species Act. So it would make sense for the New Iberia Research Center to take such action.

The chimp's new home sounds like a wonderful place to retire to.

We have a 236 acre property here in north Georgia. Beautiful rolling hills and pine trees and a full veterinary clinic and a kitchen.

It's the first time that a non-federal program has released an entire population of chimps that had been a part of research studies. The move to the new facility in Georgia is expected to be completed within the next few years.