Nature, science, education, family and fun all describe Chimp Haven’s Chimpanzee Discovery Days.
Chimpanzee Discovery Days are the only regularly-scheduled opportunities for the public to visit the sanctuary, which is home to more than 120 chimpanzees that have been retired from the entertainment or medical research industries.
Located in the Eddie D. Jones Nature Park at 13600 Chimpanzee Place just outside of Shreveport Louisiana, the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary offers this once-a-month event, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. until noon, March through June and September through November.
Admission is free, but guests are encouraged to bring a contribution for the chimpanzees. Among the items needed are fresh or canned fruits and vegetables, unshelled nuts, peanut butter, sugar free cereals, sugar-free gelatin and pudding mixes, pretzels, sugar free juice, and seeds or starter plant donations for Chimp Haven’s vegetable gardens.
Visitors, separated by a water moat from the chimpanzees, are able to view them in a wooded setting. Staff interpreters help guests identify the chimpanzees and their behaviors as they forage for food and interact with one another. The opportunity may arise for spectators to catch a glimpse of the youngest members of the colony, as well as many of the recent arrivals from the New Iberia Research Center.
Chimpanzee Discovery Days are always a unique experience, with different entertaining and educational opportunities each month to guarantee that families will return often. Regardless of the variety of activities and themes, Chimp Haven’s educational goals consistently focus on increasing awareness of endangered primates, particularly chimpanzees, and the need for their conservation in the wild and protection in captivity.
Following Chimpanzee Discovery Days, visitors are invited to attend Chimp Chat & Chew. This event includes a behind-the-scenes hayride tour of the sanctuary, lunch and a presentation by one of the staff. The 2013 Chimp Chat & Chew dates are: March 16, May 18, June 15, September 21 and November 16, beginning at noon: $40 adult/$20 child. Reservations are required. To RSVP for Chimp Chat & Chew or for directions to the sanctuary call (318) 925-9575 or visit www.chimphaven.org.