New National Geographic Series Takes Viewers Inside World’s Largest Chimpanzee Sanctuary
KEITHVILLE, La. (press release) – Chimp Haven, the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary located outside of Shreveport in Keithville, La., will be the feature of a new National Geographic series titled “Meet the Chimps”. The six-part documentary series, streaming on Disney+ beginning October 16, takes viewers inside Chimp Haven, a 200-acre forested refuge for more than 300 chimpanzees, many of whom were retired from medical research.
“As a co-founder of Chimp Haven, we have come a long way since accepting our first two chimpanzees in 2005,” said Amy Fultz, co-founder and Director of Behavior & Research at Chimp Haven. “I am thrilled that so many new audiences will get to peek inside the world of caring for more than 300 chimpanzees and learn more about the species.”
Narrated by Emmy Award-winning actress Jane Lynch, “Meet the Chimps” tracks the ups and downs of this extraordinary group of chimpanzees and the dedicated staff caring for them. Blending natural history and observational-documentary filmmaking, the series provides viewers access inside the sanctuary like never before – with the heart and soul of the series, the chimps, at front and center.
“Some of my most meaningful professional relationships have been with these lively and loveable chimpanzees,” said Dr. Raven Jackson-Jewett, Director of Veterinary Care, Attending Veterinarian at Chimp Haven. “I cannot wait for others to witness the challenges and achievements of our work and dedication here at Chimp Haven.”
“Meet the Chimps” was filmed over the course of many months to reflect different seasons at the sanctuary and feature different milestones in the lives of the chimpanzee families, from social group introductions to birthday parties. Innovative, specialized cameras were designed and installed throughout the sanctuary to capture the remarkable footage non-invasively and with minimal disruption to the chimps’ daily lives.
Among the milestones showcased in the series is a chimpanzee family of 11 moving into a newly-constructed open-air corral, with multi-level structures for climbing, playing and relaxing. The new corral seen in “Meet the Chimps” is one part of a $20 million expansion campaign, which includes new forested habitats, open-air corrals and veterinary suites so the sanctuary can provide more former research chimpanzees with the happy, healthy retirement they deserve. Chimp Haven is a private, nonprofit organization that relies on the generosity of donors to support expansion efforts and welcome more chimpanzees into its care.
To learn more about “Meet the Chimps” and how to tune in, go to chimphaven.org/meet-the-chimps. Follow @ChimpHaven on social media for updates after the premiere and ways to stay involved with our chimps!