Chimp Haven opens to the public for its fall season this weekend, and the first Chimpanzee Discovery Day features an Africa theme. Visitors will learn about chimpanzees’ natural habitat, enjoy African dances by Power and Grace School of Performing Arts and observe residents in their wooded environment.

Because the temperatures have been so high lately, the chimps have been spending a lot of time indoors. But they are expected to be out and roaming the habitats for Saturday’s event.

There are some new things coming to these Discovery Days, too. One of those is food vendors. Po’ Boys & Rich Girls and Geauxsicles will be on-site with tasty food and treats for sale. Attendees will also be able to walk the Chimp Trails and take the scavenger hunt challenge.

Chimp Haven has also partnered with Thrifty Peanut, so sanctuary visitors can bring out used books, CDs, DVDs and video games. Half of the proceeds from the sale of those items goes to Chimp Haven.

And remember chimp artist Brent? He won a national art contest for his unique and unorthodox method of painting...with his tongue. Prints of his award-winning painting -- and ones from other chimpanzee artists -- will be available for sale during Discovery Days.

Admission is free, but you’re encouraged to bring a donation for the chimps. Items needed include peanut butter, honey, sugar-free Jell-o and streamers. The sanctuary is open from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday. This is a great opportunity for the public to see the newest group of chimps from the New Iberia Research Center before they head back indoors for the cold weather months. The last group of 60 chimps should arrive at the sanctuary by December.

An upcoming event to mark on your calendar is the second annual Fall Festival, held in conjunction with the October Chimpanzee Discovery Day -- set for October 19th. Visitors get to experience an autumn celebration filled with scavenger hunts, pick-your-own-pumpkin patch, photo opportunities, face painting, great vendors and behind-the-scenes hayrides.

Visit Chimp Haven’s website for all the info.