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A very, merry 'Chimpmas'

Save the Chimps holds Xmas party
Posted at 5:27 PM, Dec 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-20 17:27:53-05

The Save the Chimps facility in western St. Lucie County is the largest chimpanzee sanctuary in the world.

Residents include chimps who have been rescued from biomedical research, the pet trade and entertainment industries.

Recently ‘Save the Chimps’ held its annual ‘Chimpmas’ party.

Operators of the center work to ensure the animals have enriching lives.

St. Lucie County school kids put the gifts together for the chimpanzees and Home Depot donated the trees.

More than 250 chimps call the sanctuary home. They are not ‘snow chimp,’ they live at the facility year round.

"It's a home where chimpanzees can live out their life in dignity, with comfort, with excellent medical care,” said Molly Polidroff with Save the Chimps.

A lot of food is needed to feed all of the occupants. The cost to care for one chimp is $16,000 annually. The money comes solely from donations.

60 staff members take care of the animals 24/7.

Although Save the Chimps is closed to the public, members are allowed in a few times a year and the organization is holding its 3rd annual road race in April where the course takes runners through the facility.