KEITHVILLE, LA (KSLA) - Chimp Haven houses more than 200 chimpanzees that once were subjects of medical research.
Now the sprawling sanctuary, a sort of utopian retirement home in Caddo Parish, wants to house even more on its campus at Keithville.
That's why Chimp Haven again is expanding.
"We want to be able to provide the chimp life to as many chimpanzees as possible here at Chimp Haven," said Amy Fultz, the sanctuary's director of behavior and research.
"There are still a number of chimpanzees in biomedical research facilities waiting to come live the chimp life at Chimp Haven."
Chimp Haven is constructing three more forested habitats plus two additional open-air corrals, the latter of which serve as a sort of social space for the chimps.
"We're expanding to provide space for approximately 100 to 200 additional chimpanzees," Fultz said.
"We're also adding on to some of our current buildings to provide additional bedrooms. And we're building additional veterinary clinics to care for the chimpanzees, as well."
The project is projected to cost $20 million.
Fultz said they've managed to fund about 75 percent of the expansion thus far.
"I think it's really neat that they can just come here and be retired and do the things they like to do and have the choices they have here," Fultz said of the chimpanzees.
The expansion is expected to be completed sometime in 2019.
And more residents are expected to swing into Chimp Haven this fall.
For 13 years, the sanctuary has been caring for and rehabilitating hundreds of chimpanzees.
Chimp Haven even has six days a year when it allows members of the public to visit.