Petition Closed
Petitioning Director Francis Collins

Tell NIH's Dr. Collins to permanently retire APF chimpanzees to sanctuary.


Through a Freedom of Information Act request, NEAVS/Project R&R has learned that 62 chimpanzees have died at the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) between 2001 and 2010.  

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has come under fire in recent months because, after nine years of being housed at the APF, a holding facility at which no research took place, the NIH has decided to transfer all 186 APF chimpanzees to the Southwest National Primate Research Center in Texas, where they will be offered for use nationwide in invasive hepatitis, cancer, autoimmune disease, and other research.  

The chimpanzee deaths at APF attest to the grim realities of their lives in laboratories and the toll it takes on them:

Elders such as 49-year-old Maxwell, 46-year-old Josam, and 44-year-old Susie likely spent their entire lives in a laboratory and never got the chance to be safe living in sanctuary.Causes of death ranged from sudden cardiac failure, to acute kidney and liver failure, to multiple organ failure in 20-year-old Muna.  Rex, only 16, died from generalized septicemia and pneumonia.  Marla died from an “anesthetic reaction” at the age of 22.  Shockingly, three male chimpanzees, Jerome, Ritchie, and 10-year-old Snoy, died within a day of each other in January 2004 from “accidental electrocution.”

The chimpanzees currently at APF have little time left due to their ages and health conditions.  Join us in calling upon the NIH (see Take Action below) to halt the Alamogordo transfer and to retire all remaining chimpanzees to sanctuary before it’s too late. 

On behalf of the Alamogordo chimpanzees, we urge you to contact Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health and ask that NIH reconsider the misguided decision to transfer the 186 APF chimpanzees into invasive research and to instead retire them into sanctuary.  Remind him that these chimpanzees have little time left and deserve the safety and comforts of sanctuary before it’s too late.

Dr. Francis Collins, Director
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892

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Letter to
Director Francis Collins
As a U.S. taxpayer concerned with animal welfare and good science, I strongly oppose the transfer of the 186 chimpanzees, currently held at the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF), into an invasive research facility. As Director of the National Institutes of Health, you have the power to secure permanent retirement in sanctuary for them. I urgently request that you do so.

The chimpanzees currently at APF have little time left due to their ages and health conditions. Dr. Collins, we cannot allow these chimpanzees to suffer the same fate as Maxwell, Susie or any of the other 62 chimpanzees that have died at the APF over the past 10 years -- never having been given the opportunity to experience the comforts and protections of sanctuary.

In their memory and with the best interest of APF's current residents in mind, please act now and secure the immediate transfer of these individuals to sanctuary. They more than deserve to be retired with dignity -- before it's too late.