Research Facilities

Closed Laboratories

Ohio State University Chimpanzee Center

Affiliated with Ohio State University and the Living Links Center for the Study of Evolution & Behavior


In 1983, Dr. Sally Boysen, professor in the Department of Psychology, established the Comparative Cognition Project at the Ohio State University Chimpanzee Center. The Center was one of three centers that studied chimpanzee cognitive abilities related to child development, comparative psychology, animal behavior, cognitive ethnology, neuroscience, anthropology, linguistics, and philosophy. (1)

Due to lack of funding for the continuation of the cognition project, Ohio State University closed its chimpanzee research program in February 2006.

Chimpanzee use

Of the nine chimpanzees formerly at this center — Kermit, Darrell, Sheba, Sarah, Bobby, Ivy, Harper, Emma, and Keeli — the majority were born in a research laboratory and had spent their entire lives in a lab before their retirement to sanctuary. All were transferred to Primarily Primates, Inc. (PPI) in San Antonia Texas. One chimpanzee, Kermit, died upon transfer to the sanctuary. A second, 16-year-old Bobby, died in sanctuary on April 20, 2006. PPI allowed all the chimpanzees, including the OSU chimpanzees, who had been placed at other sanctuaries during the time PPI was under receivership, to remain at those placements. Sara, Sheba, Keeli, Ivy, Harper, and Emma now reside in sanctuary at Chimp Haven; their companion, Darrell, passed away at Chimp Haven on January 4, 2008.

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