KEITHVILLE, La (press release) – After three years’ hiatus, Chimp Haven, the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary, is bringing back Chimpanzee Discovery Day, a rare opportunity to get an inside look at the 200-acre forested campus that more than 300 chimpanzees know as home – and tickets are going fast.
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. To ensure all visitors who arrive at the sanctuary are able to attend the event, Chimp Haven has shifted all ticket sales online and tickets must be purchased in advance.
Discovery Day is open to all ages and will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Oct. 15. Admission is $10 for visitors aged 6 and older, and free for children 5 and younger. We recommend arriving at 9 a.m. when the chimps are most active after a night’s rest! Advance tickets and additional dates for Chimp Haven events are available onlineonly at chimphaven.org/visit/.
“After three years, we are excited to bring back a Discovery Day, so people have an opportunity to see the beauty of the chimpanzees living the ‘Chimp Life’,” said Chimp Haven President and CEO Rana Smith. “Each event held at Chimp Haven is its’ own unique experience, and we have missed being able to share the magic this place has to offer with our community.”
Animal sanctuaries rarely allow public access for many reasons. Chimp Haven is unique in offering occasional open-access days to the community each year. Over the last couple years, the sanctuary has had to cancel Chimpanzee Discovery Days to help ensure the safety of the chimpanzees as well as human visitors due to COVID-19 precautions. These special events typically attract hundreds of visitors from across the U.S.
For those looking for an even more in-depth encounter, Chimp Haven also is offering multiple Chimp Chat events 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 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.
If you can’t make it to Chimp Haven this fall, save the date for next spring. The next opportunity to visit Chimp Haven for Discovery Day (and Chimp Chat to follow) will be on Saturday, April 15, 2023. Advance tickets are now available for purchase at chimphaven.org/visit/.
For the safety of the chimps and our visitors, masks are required for those not vaccinated against COVID-19. A virtual tour also is available for anyone unable to travel to the sanctuary. To take the virtual tour, visitchimphaven.org/visit/digital-tour/