For more than 40 years, the Wildlife Waystation has helped over 77,000 abused, abandoned, orphaned, and injured animals that passed through its gates. Our facility rescued animals from all around the world and was both nationally and internationally recognized as one of the first of its kind. We took in native wildlife, offered sanctuary to exotic and domestic animals alike, taught educational outreach to the surrounding schools, and welcomed guests in the hopes that it would inspire future generations of wildlife warriors.
In August of 2019, a series of insurmountable hardships forced us to shut our doors, though we continue to remain a 501(c)3 charity as our dedicated staff care for the remaining animals. We have been able to find new homes for nearly all our animals, working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who stepped in shortly after we made the difficult decision to begin the process of closing. Among the animals that remained were 42 chimpanzees which proved to be more difficult to find suitable new homes for, given the unique care these strong but social animals require. An emergency fundraising effort, Chimpanzees in Need, formed with the help of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA) and the endorsement of world-renowned ethologist Jane Goodall, and the Waystation has been supporting its efforts to rehome the chimpanzees.
With the generous support of hundreds of donors, as of September 2022, 30 chimpanzees have been safely relocated to accredited sanctuaries and trusted facilities that are able to properly care for these complex primates. Two chimps sadly passed away at the Waystation—one, of natural causes, and the other from an abdominal tumor—and the remaining 10 are expected to move to Chimp Haven in Keithville, La., later this year.
Where they are now, and how you can continue to help.
While we wish we could continue to care for the chimpanzees and the other animals for years to come, the Wildlife Waystation couldn’t be more pleased with the new homes found for the chimps who were once in our care.
Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest in Cle Elum, Wash.: Terry, Rayne, Lucky, Gordo, Dora, Cy, Honey B, Mave, and Willy B
Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Fla.: Billy, Ewok, Josh, Maude, Sabina, Mystery, Sha Sha
Association of Zoos and Aquariums: Billie, Suzy, and Eli
Booee, who continued to use his sign language skills to make requests for treats or play, and Sammy, who continued to paint, are gone now – as are some of the other chimps who were older when they arrived. But after spending much of their lives in medical research, they were allowed to live out their remaining years nestled in the hills under the warm California sun. Each chimp added something special to our lives and we are so grateful that we had the opportunity to finally provide them with a life of compassionate care – one they so richly deserved.