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The night shift: Chimp Haven - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

The night shift: Chimp Haven

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The Chimp Haven Sanctuary in Keithville serves as a retirement village for chimps to live out the remainder of their lives.

Doctors and Veterinarians spend the day tending to the needs of the chimps.  However the real preparations for each day begin when the sun goes down, and the chimps are asleep.

James Knowles has served as the Overnight Caregiver for Chimp Haven for over two years.  Part of his early morning duties include preparing a balanced diet for the chimps.

"We give them two fruits, a starch, some kind of vegetable and a leafy green, we grow our own leafy greens out here," said Knowles.

They're diet also comes equipped with peanuts and sunflower seeds, almost 60 pounds worth. That amount can feed up to nearly 80 chimps.

Knowles' shift also involved preparing toys, blankets and even items like flowers each day. Knowles says things like flowers are considered a tool of enrichment and something new they can give the chimps every day.

One of Knowles primary duties includes doing routine checks of the property.  He is responsible for all 169 chimps on his overnight shift and has to make sure they are all in their proper place throughout the morning.

While Knowles works a shift when most people are sound asleep, he says he looks forward to it every day.

"It's real fun because you really enjoy being with the chimps, they're wonderful, each 169 you have 169 personalities," said Knowles.

If you'd like to donate to Chimp Haven, you can visit their web site at chimphaven.org

The sanctuary always welcomes toys, food and money donations.

If you'd like to visit the chimps, Chimp Haven will be holding their next Discovery Day on Saturday, May 18th.

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