[UPDATE, Apr. 15, 2015]  We've just received word that Chimp Haven has been forced to cancel its Spring Fling, set for this Saturday, due to the expected bad weather.

The next Chimpanzee Discovery Day is scheduled for May 16. Sanctuary spokeswoman Ashley Gordon tells us Spring Fling has been moved to that day. The Field Day activities that were planned for this weekend will still be going on during the event.

[ORIGINAL STORY]  Chimp Haven's first Discovery Day of the season had to be canceled because of the rain last weekend, but the staff is looking ahead to Spring Fling in April.

This is also a big year for the Keithville chimpanzee sanctuary -- the 20th anniversary of its founding. Spokeswoman Ashley Gordon says in 1995, a group of individuals saw a need for a retirement home for chimps no longer used for biomedical research, entertainment or as pets.

"In 2005, we welcomed our first chimpanzees, Rita and Teresa, and now we've had almost 300 chimpanzees come through our doors," Gordon said. "We currently have over 200."

Spring Fling is set for April 18, 2015, from 9AM to 1PM, and Gordon said it'll have a field day theme.

"We'll have 3-legged races, 50-yard dash, hula hoop contest, perhaps even a dunking booth," she said. "So we're excited to have everybody out just to have a good time."

There is a small admission cost, but Gordon said it goes a long way toward helping take care of these animals. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children aged 6-12, and free for kids 5 and under. And if you'd like to bring gifts for the chimps, things like fresh or canned fruits and veggies, unshelled nuts, peanut butter, sugar-free cereals and pretzels are all good ideas. You can find the complete wish list on Chimp Haven's website.

Discovery Days will also be held May 16, June 20, October 17 (Fall Festival) and November 21.

Other activities during Chimpanzee Discovery Days are:

Creative Station - Children are invited to make and take home a craft highlighting the theme for the event as a souvenir.

Enrichment Station - Discover what enrichment means for a chimpanzee. Enrichment could be in the form of a novel fruit or something more unique like the rhythms of an African drum group. Individuals can help staff and volunteers make the day’s enrichment.

Greenhouse Exhibit - Learn about Chimp Haven’s sustainability efforts and the chimpanzee diet by taking a tour of the sanctuary’s greenhouse.

Behind-the-Scene Hayride - Explore Chimp Haven on a 30-minute staff-led tour. The tour offers two in depth demonstrations and presentations and allows riders to see parts of the sanctuary that normally are not open to the public. Tour Fees: Adults - $10; Children - $5.

Following Chimpanzee Discovery Days, visitors are invited to attend Chimp Chat & Chew. This event includes lunch, a behind-the-scene tour of the sanctuary and a presentation by a staff member. The 2015 Chimp Chat & Chew dates are as follows: May 16, June 20, September 19 and November 21, beginning at noon. Prices are: Adults - $50 and Children - $25. Reservations are required.

To RSVP for Chimp Chat & Chew or for sanctuary directions, call 318.925.9575 or visit chimphaven.org.

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