In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Discover the world of chimpanzees at Chimp Haven

See inside the largest chimpanzee sanctuary in the country.

In the 1980’s, biomedical and university research began using chimpanzees to conduct research. As medical research technologies advanced, the need to experiment on human’s closest related species declined. The U.S. government needed a sanctuary built so chimps can retire. Founded in 1995, Chimp Haven answered the call. In 2000, Caddo Parish donated 200 acres of land outside of Keithville, La. for the sanctuary. Today, over 300 chimps live out the “Chimp Life” in several large outdoor habitats while being tended to by over 40 professionals. In the near future, 200 more chimps will call Northwest Louisiana home with construction on new habitats going up. The sanctuary is the largest in the world and is a great place to discover the world of chimpanzees.

A new National Geographic series reveals the life of these primates in “Meet the Chimps.” Tune in to Disney+ for the premiere on October 16.  Emmy Award winning actress Jane Lynch narrated this six part series. Follow the lives as these chimps enjoy the retired life. You’ll see drama and comedy as well as behind-the-scenes at the animal sanctuary.

Chimp life

Chimpanzee Discovery Days

Unfortunately, Chimpanzee Discovery Days has been cancelled in 2020 due to the Coronavirus. Check their website or Facebook page for new virtual activities throughout the year.

Four times a year,  travel to Keithville to see the chimpanzees and discover the world of chimpanzees. At Chimpanzee Discovery Days, you can watch them in their natural habitats. They may stroll down the banks of the water, or use sticks to retrieve treats from the termite mounds or they might climb the trees to enjoy a snack. Chimp Haven staff will talk about the veterinary care, enrichment and chimp behavior. They love to share what they’ve discovered about the chimpanzees and will talk about each chimp’s personality and story.

Part of Discovery Days is the “hay ride.” It’s the behind-the-scenes tour you need to see. For an additional charge, take a tour to areas usually off limits to the public. You’ll see the positive reinforcement training plus go see the new habitats under construction.  Tickets for the tour are $10 for ages 13 and older, $5 for kids ages 4-12 and free for kids under 4. Tours take place at 9:45 am, 10:30 am, and 11:15 am.

Discovery Days

Related Topic: The Ark-La-Tex is full of great places to discover more about our world and history. Check out what’s out there on our Travel Channel.

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