CWU chimpanzee speech researchers retire

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ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) -- The researchers who made Central Washington University famous for chimpanzees who use sign language, Roger and Debbie Fouts, have retired.

The Daily Record reports Roger Fouts retired this month as a dean of graduate studies and research and Debbie Fouts as director of the Chimpanzee and Human Communications Institute.

They came to Ellensburg in 1980 with Washoe, the first non-human to acquire a human language. She died in 2007. Three chimps remain at the university. Seven other chimpanzees are at the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest in Cle Elum, which the Foutses helped establish.

The couple say they'll remain in Ellensburg and continue promoting humane care for chimpanzees.

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Information from: Daily Record, http://www.kvnews.com