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Chimp Haven

13600 Chimpanzee Place, Keithville, LA 71047
Limited visiting days each year
318-925-9575 Half day
April 2011 spring, fall
$0-9 Keithville Louisiana
Website Nature Wildlife Refuges
First review
Chimp Haven is a wildlife sanctuary located near Shreveport, LA. It opened in 2005 primarily for chimpanzees retired from government medical research. The center is partially funded by the US government but also depends on private donations. Chimp Haven houses chimps in separate clusters that mimic natural social structures. Groups are housed in various compounds some of which have natural vegetation and room to roam.

Approximately 7 times a year Chimp Haven hosts free visitor days called Chimpanzee Discovery Day. This event runs from 9:00 AM to noon. People can stand across a water moat and watch the chimps eating and interacting. Discovery Day also includes talks and events for kids such as drawing pictures. Following Discovery Day is an optional event called Chimp Chat & Chew. This option has a fee and requires reservations. It includes a tour of the facility normally closed to the public as well as a lunch and a lecture. On this tour you should be able to see Henry the Miracle Chimp, so named because he was rescued from appalling conditions and is now the head chimp of his cluster.

If you like chimps and appreciate seeing them up close in a semi-natural setting, a visit to Chimp Haven is enjoyable and worthwhile. It is great for kids too as there are fun activities designed for them. Plan to go early to get a good vantage point and because the chimps are most active when they are fed early in the day. It is also worth paying to attend the Chimp Chat & Chew because you get to learn more about their care and daily life. Note that the center is hard to find even with a GPS device so call them first to get directions.
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