The National Center for Chimpanzee Care (NCCC) maintains a colony of 55 chimpanzees, providing specialized housing and the highest level of care. Our staff, including seven board-certified veterinarians and two primate behaviorist, are committed to implementing best practices for the NCCC, and also sharing those practices with other primate centers, zoos and sanctuaries through programs like the Primate Behavioral Management Conference held annually at the Keeling Center, and the Primate Enrichment and Training workshop at the annual AALAS Meeting.
The chimpanzees living at the NCCC participate in non-invasive, voluntary behavioral studies:
- Captive chimpanzees serve as an irreplaceable resource to test evolutionary hypotheses (non-invasively and under well-controlled conditions) derived from observations of wild chimpanzees.
- Results of these hypothesis tests can then be applied to strengthen interpretations of behavior in the wild.
- Strengthened interpretations of wild chimpanzee behavior allow for more refined hypotheses concerning the evolution of human behavior.
- Studies are most effectively conducted, and results are most generalizable, when the subjects are living in functionally appropriate captive environments.
- The NCCC has pioneered the design of studies to allow chimpanzees to choose whether they participate, giving them more control over their daily activities.
Caring for our chimpanzees
The Keeling Center and the National Center for Chimpanzee Care continue to set the world's standards for the humane care and management of chimpanzees. Our standards are defined by quality of care, compassion and respect for the needs of these unique animals.