Last group of chimps at Sylmar Wildlife Waystation will soon have a new forever home

A group of chimps still remain at the Wildlife Waystation, but they will soon be relocated to Chimp Haven in Louisiana.

Amanda Palacios Image
Tuesday, November 1, 2022
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A group of 10 chimpanzees still remain at the Wildlife Waystation, but officials say they will soon have a new home at Chimp Haven in Louisiana by the end of the year.

SYLMAR, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Wildlife Waystation in Sylmar closed its doors in 2019. Officials say age and time took a toll on it.

The facility was damaged from the Creek Fire in 2017 and from flooding in 2019.

That's when more than 400 animals had to be relocated, but some were left behind, including a small group of chimps who are still there and will be the last to leave.

The main reason it took longer to move them was the cost of relocation. But officials say the chimps will soon have a new forever home.

"We were so lucky to grab the attention of NAPSA, which is the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance," said Wildlife Waystation Board Member Kate Thompson. "They started the Chimps in Need campaign which has raised over $4 million to help with transport."

In total, there are 10 chimps remaining and officials said they will all be relocated by the end of the year.

"They're going to be going to Chimp Haven in Louisiana which is a beautiful, huge sanctuary," said Erika Fleury, program director for the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA).

NAPSA has helped relocate 30 chimps from the Wildlife Waystation. And now, the final group of chimps known as the Treetop Ten will soon be able to socialize with 300 other chimps.

"We will be here for the animals until the very last one," Thompson said.

Anher Flores has been caring for the chimps at the Wildlife Waystation for the past 33 years.

"It's in a way sad, but you know it's kind of rewarding," Flores said.

When the final chimps are relocated, NAPSA says they will still need donations to help fund their future care.

To donate, go to chimpsinneed.org.

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