Chimp Haven, the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary, will soon be dedicating a $2.4 Million expansion to their facility. The new Laurie and Carlee McGrath Welcoming Center will serve as the quarantine area for newly retired chimpanzees arriving at the sanctuary.

Chimp Haven President and CEO Cathy Willis Spraetz says that the new facility will help make life even better for the residents of Chimp Haven.

We are overjoyed to be expanding our facility. We are thankful for Laurie McGrath as well as the Walter Family Foundation and the National Anti-Vivisection Society who made this expansion possible. Because of their generosity, the more than 300 chimpanzees who will call Chimp Haven home have a special and safe environment to transition into retirement.

The modern welcoming center contains 12 bedrooms, four outdoor areas and a large veterinary suite that will serve as a spacious home for new retirees for approximately 17 days before they are introduced to new, existing families at Chimp Haven. This period is crucial to the sanctuary’s introduction process, says Spraetz.

The quarantine period is not just a time to review medical status, it is an equally important time to develop trust with the chimps as well as learn their personalities so Chimp Haven’s introduction team, when possible, can place incoming chimpanzee groups into an existing family where each individual can thrive.

The event, which will be held Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 3 to 5 p.m., will be attended by more than 50 people including, Laurie McGrath, Caddo Parish commissioners Mario Chavez, Steven Jackson and Jim Smith and Shreveport Chamber of Commerce President Dick Bremer. To officially dedicate the building, a public unveiling of the building’s name will take place followed by tours of the facility and a reception.

For more information or to attend, please contact Ashley Gordon at 318.925.5793.