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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) As one of the co-founders and Executive Director of the Primate Rescue Center in Jessamine County, April Truitt has a stake in the future of the chimpanzees she cares for.
"We should afford them special status in our use and treatment of them and we as humans have a responsibility to keep them in appropriate housing," said Truitt.
The National Institutes of Health recognizes this and Wednesday announced that only 50 chimps across the country will be used for medical research if needed to in the future.
300 will retire to sanctuaries like the Primate Rescue Center over the next couple of years.
Truitt says it's a step in the right direction.
"Anyone who's had the honor of sharing their lives with these amazing animals can't help but want to give them a good life," she said.
While the center in central Kentucky likely won't take in any of the chimps, there are seven other facilities like it that will.
"The chimps, I guess, have a special place for so many people. You can't help buyt look in their eyes and realize that there's somebody there."
Chimp advocates, including the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance, pushed for a requirement that chimps involved in research would be allotted 1,000 sq. feet of room in their enclosure.
The NIH didn't pass that recommendation.