After Decades in Research Labs, Chimps Finally Roam Free

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NBC Nightly News
Brian Williams/Lisa Meyers
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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Medical research on chimpanzees has been banned in every country but the U.S., but now the federal government is moving to significantly curtail it and allowing the chimpanzees to retire to sancturaries.



"After Decades in Research Labs, Chimps Finally Roam Free." Lisa Meyers, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 26 June 2013. NBC Learn. Web. 12 August 2017.


Meyers, L. (Reporter), & Williams, B. (Anchor). (2013, June 26). After Decades in Research Labs, Chimps Finally Roam Free. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from


"After Decades in Research Labs, Chimps Finally Roam Free" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 06/26/2013. Accessed Sat Aug 12 2017 from NBC Learn:


After Decades in Research Labs, Chimps Finally Roam Free


Finally tonight, a decision that will have huge impact for our friends in the animal world. While the U.S. remains the only developed nation that uses chimpanzees for invasive medical research, the fed said today hundreds of them will now be allowed to live out their lives in peace. The story tonight from NBC’s Lisa Myers.

LISA MYERS, reporting:

After as many as 30 years in research labs, four recently retired lab chimps are introduced to their new yard and see the sky without bars for the first time in their lives. They look up, climb, look up again. Amy Fultz helped found the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Louisiana known as Chimp Haven.

AMY FULTZ: It looks like wonder to me and amazement because it is the first time that they’ve seen that.

MYERS: Twila appears to be what's known as a wall walker, afraid to let go of the steel and concrete she has known all her life. Other chimps go into the forest for the first time with their new group of friends. Today’s decision means almost 300 more federally owned research chimps will be retired to walk on grass and swing on the trees.

FRANCIS COLLINS (National Institutes of Health Director): It is a-- a movement into a new and compassionate era for how we oversee research on our closest relatives.

MYERS: Only 50 chimps still will be available for research. The government’s decision was triggered by public opposition to further experiments on creatures so much like us. What’s more, a scientific panel concluded that most chimp research simply is no longer necessary. But some scientists argue today’s move will slow medical breakthroughs.

KEVIN KREGEL (FASEB Animals in Research Committee Chairman): The public health ramifications would likely be a delay in the development of cures for certain existing diseases.

MYERS: Still those who cared for chimps in the labs argue retiring them is the right thing for humans to do.

FULTZ: Because of what they’ve gone through and because of what they’ve given to us, and not by choice.

MYERS: A new life in a new world, for creatures so much like us. Lisa Myers, NBC News, Keithville, Louisiana.