The Washington Post

Chimps need books, too

Les the chimpanzee is engrossed in a lift-the-flap book. He and his friends could use a few more. ( Amy Fultz/Chimp Haven)

We bet we know some of the people on your holiday gift list.

Mom ■

Dad ■

Brother ■

Grandparents ■

Chimpanzee . . . wait a minute!

You probably never thought of giving a present to a chimp, but Chimp Haven, a kind of retirement home for research chimpanzees in Louisiana, wants you to do just that.

But not just any present. The chimps this holiday season want books. Preferably board books. “They’re more durable,” Karen Allen of Chimp Haven told us.

The chimpanzees love to look at the books, and it’s what animal experts call an “enrichment activity.”

Here’s what you can do. Send a gift-wrapped (they love opening presents, too, Allen says), no-longer-wanted, colorful children’s book to:

Karen Allen

Chimp Haven

13600 Chimpanzee Place

Keithville, Louisiana 71047.

If you include your name and address, the chimps will send you a special holiday thank-you card, Allen promises.

To find out more about Chimp Haven and to see pictures of some of its more than 130 residents, go to (Always ask a parent before going online — and before giving away books to chimps!)

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