KEITHVILLE, La (press release) – After more than a three-year hiatus, Chimp Haven, the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary, is once again opening widely to the public for Chimpanzee Discovery Day, a rare opportunity to get an inside look at the 200-acre forested campus this fall that more than 300 chimpanzees know as home.
Animal sanctuaries seldom open to the public, and for the safety of the chimpanzees as well as human visitors due to COVID-19 precautions, Chimp Haven canceled all Chimpanzee Discovery Days in 2020 and 2021. These special events typically attract hundreds of visitors from across the U.S.
“We are delighted to bring back Discovery Day after three years, opening our doors means getting to share the joy of witnessing our chimp families living ‘The Chimp Life,” said Chimp Haven President and CEO Rana Smith. “Visiting Chimp Haven is a unique experience, and we have missed being able to share this amazing place with our fellow chimp lovers.”
On Saturday, Oct. 15, visitors again will be invited to explore the sanctuary and witness the lush, forested habitats where the chimpanzees, most of whom are retired from bio-medical research, now live and play. Guests also can take a behind-the-scenes tour of this growing sanctuary and discover the rich natural wonders on the property. Staff members will be on-hand to share their expertise and answer questions about the chimpanzees’ individual personalities, what they eat, and the kinds of specialized veterinary care they receive.
The Oct. 15 event is open to all ages and will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Admission is $10 for visitors aged 6 and older, and free for children 5 and younger. Tickets and additional dates for Chimp Haven events will be available online at chimphaven.org/visit/. Tickets for Chimpanzee Discovery Day also will be available at the gate on the day of the event.
For those looking for an even more in-depth encounter, Chimp Haven also is offering multiple Chimp Chat dates during which an exclusive group of chimp lovers will receive a special presentation from a member of the animal care staff and a behind-the-scenes tour of the sanctuary, including areas not normally accessible to the public. The first event will take place after Discovery Day on Oct. 15 from 12 to 2 p.m., and will return twice on Nov. 12, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. The cost is $75 per person and is available to those age 10 and older.
Upcoming events 2022 include:
Photography Event: On Oct. 14, Chimp Haven’s resident photographer, Karalee Scouten, will be leading a three-hour experience including a private tour of the sanctuary. The event will be capped at six attendees to ensure the best photography experience as they will learn tips and tricks while taking pictures of the chimps in their forested habitats and open-air corrals. The experience is open to professional and amateur photographers for a cost of $300; attendees are responsible for bringing their own photography equipment.
Chimpanzee Discovery Day: On Oct. 15, this special event that attracts hundreds returns from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event is open to all ages. The cost is $10 per person for age 6 and older; children 5 and under are free.
Chimp Chat: Oct. 15 from 12 to 2 p.m., immediately following Discovery Day. This exclusive tour features an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at sanctuary life and a special presentation by Chimp Haven experts. The cost is $75 per person. This program is available to those age 10 and older. Chimp Chat also will be held on Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 to 4 p.m.