Video: No tricks but all treats at Chimp Haven!


KEITHVILLE, La. (WGNO) — Halloween weekend is here and we aren’t the only ones celebrating. Over at Chimp Haven in Keithville, Louisiana, chimpanzees got to experience no tricks but all treats.

Pumpkins were on the menu for these chimps. The pumpkins served at Chimp Haven are the type most typically cooked and baked into pies or pureed into soups rather than being carved into jack-o-lanterns, but no cooking is required for the chimps to enjoy their holiday treats.

“Chimpanzees enjoy choice and variety just like people do,” said Rana Smith, Chimp Haven president and CEO. “Holidays like Halloween give us a great opportunity to provide the chimps with new, enriching experiences and the chance to sample interesting healthy foods, which for chimpanzees who enjoy fresh fruits is real treat.”

“Some chimpanzees might play with their pumpkins a bit before taking little nibbles, others will crack them open and scoop up the insides, and still others will bite down like it’s a crisp, juicy apple,” Smith said. “The uniqueness of each chimpanzee is always a delight to watch.”

Chimp Haven serves fresh produce to the chimpanzees twice per day, which includes leafy greens; non-leafy vegetables such as eggplant, bell peppers, and broccoli; a starch such as sweet potatoes, and special fruit.

Chimp Haven is a private, nonprofit refuge on 200 acres of forested land in Northwest Louisiana, and home to more than 330 chimps retired from biomedical research.  The organization is currently working to complete a crucial sanctuary expansion campaign, which will allow it to welcome more chimpanzees to retirement at Chimp Haven.

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