Chimpanzees who have spent their lives in U.S. research labs being prodded, poked and tested may be headed for retirement in a leafy sanctuary where they can climb trees, socialize at will, play with toys and even listen to music.

More than 300 chimpanzees should be retired from government-funded research and sent to live in a sprawling refuge outfitted with play areas under a recommendation approved Tuesday by a top national panel of scientists.