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Unwanted Chimps

photograph from Nature story

(before 2003)

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Many chimpanzees have been bred for AIDS research. Researchers did not learn enough about AIDS from chimps. The chimps are not needed. There are 1,500 of them. Some people wanted to kill them.

A research panel has a different idea. It says someone needs to take care of the 1,500 chimps. It says to stop breeding more chimps. It says to put them someplace like their natural habitat.

Many people say this is a good idea. They say chimps are very special animals. They look like people. They sometimes act like people. They are close relatives to people.

Some people do not want chimps to be used for research. They say it is not right to hurt them. They say taking care of chimps is better than killing them.

It will cost a lot of money to take care of the chimps. The government spends more than 7 million dollars a year to take care of them. The chimps will live 30 to 40 years. People say it is worth using them. We have learned many valuable things from chimps.

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