SNPRC houses more than 160 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). The Center is one of only five large research centers in the United States with the specialized experience and facilities to care for these great apes.
Chimpanzees have been used as models for infectious disease research, and were critical to the development of vaccines for Hepatitis A and B. Currently, their most extensive use is in developing and testing vaccines and drugs for Hepatitis C.
Most chimpanzees live in enclosures with an indoor heated area, and an outdoor area with climbing structures. Some also have regular access to a large, grass-covered playground. Images of the chimpanzees show their environments and common enrichment items.
Texas Biomedical Research Institute initiated a breeding colony of chimpanzees in 1970. Several years ago we suspended the breeding program.
The Southwest National Primate Research Center provides our animals with enrichment programs to enhance their daily lives at the Center. We work hard to provide comprehensive physical, emotional and psychological care for our primates.
The enrichment programs aim to stimulate species typical behaviors and promote psychological well-being using social, physical, occupational, feeding and sensory enrichment
opportunities, many of which mimic natural behaviors seen in the wild, which we aim to encourage.