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Monday, January 24, 2022

State relocates 8 wildlife habitat chimpanzees to Florida sanctuary

SYLMAR – Eight chimpanzees living in the now-closed Wildlife Westation Wild Animal Sanctuary in Sylmar have been transferred to the Center for Great Apes in Florida, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Tuesday, December 7.

Animals were among nearly 500 wild animals in need of homes, including 42 chimpanzees, when the wildlife vestige closed in August 2019.

Wildlife Vestation’s board of directors voted to surrender its state operating permit following insurmountable costs arising from damage from the 2017 Creek Fire and flood damage in early 2019.

According to the CDFW, 24 of the original 42 chimpanzees at the Wildlife Vestation are permanently placed at permitted facilities, but 18 are waiting to be relocated to the Wildlife Vestation. The North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance is continuing fundraising efforts to help relocate the remaining shrimps.

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Donations can be made at www.chimpsneed.org.

The Vestation was originally incorporated in 1976 and serves as a sanctuary for animals including tigers, lions and chimpanzees. Operators said the facilities assisted more than 77,000 animals during its existence, including wolves, coyotes, camels, hyenas, reptiles and leopards.

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