The Last 1000 is a new website project headed up by Dr. Lori Gruen which documents the existence of the final chimpanzees left in research facilities in the United States. Framing this haunting statistic in this startling way won’t erase the suffering, past and present, of these extraordinary primates, but the project — which has already garnered mainstream attention by the likes of The New York Times — is using the online presence to “look forward to the journey to sanctuary of the LAST 1000.”
According to The Last 1000:
For almost 100 years, chimpanzees have been used in biomedical and behavioral research in this country, the last industrialized country to experiment on our next of kin. The end of using chimpanzees as nameless test subjects is near. Already hundreds of research chimpanzees have been retired. In tribute to all who have been forced to serve, here we look forward to the journey to sanctuary of the LAST 1000. This evolving list of names of the LAST 1000 chimpanzees is presented alphabetically and is color-coded by the facility where they currently live. Many names are still unknown. The goal is to record each individual’s journey to sanctuary by turning the color code green.
To date, 79 individuals’ stories, of the 1,000, have been documented.
Lori, who heads up Wesleyan’s Animal Studies program, last provided us with the stories of otherwise forgotten chimpanzees with her First 100 project. Of the estimated 1,000 chimpanzees in research laboratories in the U.S., many are descendants of that original colony. The Last 1000 explains that the “era of chimpanzee research is coming to an end and this site will track the movement of chimpanzees from laboratory to sanctuary as a way of honoring their service.”
If you aren’t yet equally haunted, angry, and moved, read Candy’s story: