Chimp Haven Celebrates 20 Years and Announces 2015 Chimpanzee Discovery Day Schedule

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Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau announces four Chimpanzee Discovery Day events and two festivals to be held at National Chimpanzee Sanctuary in 2015

A photo of Chimp Haven

During Chimp Haven's Chimpanzee Discovery Days, guests are able to watch from across a moat as the sanctuary's resident chimpanzees play.

This year’s Discovery Day events and festivals promise to be exciting and fun for the entire family. -Chimp Haven President and CEO Cathy Willis Spraetz

Chimp Haven, the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary, will celebrate its 20th anniversary year on Saturday, March 21, at the first Chimpanzee Discovery Day event of 2015. Chimp Haven is located 25 miles southwest of Shreveport, Louisiana, in the Eddie D. Jones Park in Caddo Parish. Chimp Haven is a permanent retirement sanctuary for chimpanzees no longer used for biomedical research, entertainment or as pets.

Chimpanzee Discovery Day events are designed to offer the public an opportunity to visit the Chimp Haven sanctuary, which is not normally open to the public. 2015 Chimpanzee Discovery Days Dates are March 21, April 18, May 16, June 20, October 17 and November 21. Discovery Days are held from 9 a.m. to noon except for festival events, which are held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Festivals will be held on April 18 and October 17. Admission prices are $6 for adults, $3 for children ages 6-12 and free for children ages 5 and under.

“This year’s Discovery Day events and festivals promise to be exciting and fun for the entire family,” Chimp Haven President and CEO Cathy Willis Spraetz said. “As we celebrate the 20th year of our founding, we invite the public to visit the sanctuary to see its remarkable work and growth.”

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, pretzels, sugar-free gelatin, pudding mixes, juice, syrup and Flintstones multivitamins.

Visitors, separated by a water moat from Chimp Haven’s residents, are able to view more than 50 chimpanzees, including seven youngsters, in natural wooded habitats. Staff members are available as interpreters to help guests identify the chimpanzees and their behaviors as they forage for food and interact with one another. Other activities during Chimpanzee Discovery Days are:

Creative Station – Children are invited to make and take home a craft highlighting the theme for the event as a souvenir.

Enrichment Station – Discover what enrichment means for a chimpanzee. Enrichment could be in the form of a novel fruit or something more unique like the rhythms of an African drum group. Individuals can help staff and volunteers make the day’s enrichment.

Greenhouse Exhibit – Learn about Chimp Haven’s sustainability efforts and the chimpanzee diet by taking a tour of the sanctuary’s greenhouse.

Behind-the-Scenes Hayride – Explore Chimp Haven on a 30-minute, staff-led tour. The tour offers two in-depth demonstrations and presentations and allows riders to see parts of the sanctuary that normally are not open to the public. Cost to take part in the tour is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Following Chimpanzee Discovery Days, visitors are invited to attend Chimp Chat and Chew. This event includes lunch, a behind-the-scenes tour of the sanctuary and a presentation by a staff member. The 2015 Chimp Chat and Chew dates are May 16, June 20, September 19 and November 21, beginning at noon. Prices are $50 for adults and $25 for children. Reservations are required.

To RSVP for Chimp Chat and Chew or for sanctuary directions, call (318) 925-9575. For more information on Chimp Haven, please visit http://www.chimphaven.org. For more information on things to do in Shreveport-Bossier, visit http://www.sbfunguide.com.

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Chris Jay

Ashley Gordon
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since: 10/2008
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