Chimp Haven serves as the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary and is located on 200 forested acres in northwest Louisiana just outside of Shreveport. Chimp Haven provides excellent care for over 300 chimpanzees retired from research or no longer used in the entertainment industry or as pets. As more retired chimpanzees make their way from research institutions to sanctuary, our population continues to grow. Chimp Haven has a well-designed facility to support the physical and emotional well-being of all animals, experienced staff and high standards for operational excellence. The organization is accredited by AAALAC and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries USDA inspected and a member of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance. Chimp Haven offers a competitive salary, excellent benefits, extensive training and an opportunity for growth. Equal Opportunity Employer.


As a key member of the eight person veterinary team, you will provide routine and emergency medical care for the chimpanzee colony which includes infants through geriatric residents. This position affords the right candidate a unique opportunity to not only provide hands-on medical care to chimpanzees, but also learn all aspects of sanctuary medicine, share your knowledge and learnings with others in the field, and participate in colony management decisions.


Shift: Day shift; on-call availability for emergencies during nights and weekends as scheduled
Status: Full-time
Supervises: Will likely supervise one or more veterinary technicians in the future.


1. Medical Care and Records

  • Oversees all aspects of colony health, including health surveillance
  • Diagnose and treat medical conditions, diseases, and injuries; coordinate chimpanzee health care with consulting veterinarians, specialists and staff as needed
  • Preparation and maintenance of medical records (written and electronic)
  • Provide wound care
  • Conduct physical examinations using positive reinforcement training and/or sedations
  • Communicate critical cases to animal care staff and educate on possible outcomes
  • Fill, distribute, and administer colony medications as needed
  • Plan and implement preventive health programs to include positive reinforcement for medical behaviors
  • Perform euthanasia and necropsies as required
  • Perform surgeries
  • Adherence to Federal, State, and local regulations governing Animal Care/Nutrition and Diet preparation
  • May oversee controlled substance use and documentation
  • Work with visiting scientists and supervise volunteers or interns
  • May give consult to veterinarians at other institutions on chimpanzee physical examination/sedation standard operating procedures
  • Train animal care staff on veterinary procedures
  • Obtain further echocardiogram training in chimpanzees to allow for thorough cardiac evaluation of our chimpanzees and further collaboration with Great Ape Heart Project
  • Read digital radiography

2. Administration

  • Actively participate in Chimp Haven staff and veterinary team meetings
  • Participate in colony management meetings (i.e.: chow distribution, introductions/group dynamics, infectious disease management, or other general colony management topics)
  • Take lead in escape drills and chimpanzee related adverse events
  • Participate in transportation of chimpanzees from sending institutions and lead the chimpanzee unloading and introduction to quarantine facility. – ID test employees on newly arrived chimpanzees
  • Participate in management of quarantine standard operating procedures
  • Participate in the introduction process of newly introduced social groups along with behavior and husbandry staff
  • Represent the veterinary department at Chimpanzee Discovery Days and may participate in facility tours or further media opportunities
  • Attend professional meetings, during which you are expected to be a representative of Chimp Haven and our mission
  • May lead accreditation and certification efforts, and assist with regulatory reports and inspections
  • Monitor inventory; order and stock supplies, medication and equipment
  • Participate in management of departmental budget
  • May Hire, train and supervise veterinary technicians
  • Write grants, proposals, manuscripts and other communications


  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from accredited veterinary college
  • Must be able to obtain license to practice in Louisiana
  • Demonstrated record of work experience within an animal care facility, organization or veterinary practice
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks in an organized manner with minimal supervision
  • 3 – 5 years prior veterinary experience


  • Prior experience working with chimpanzees preferred, but willing to train qualified candidate.
  • Completion of either a post-doctoral internship or residency program specializing in nonhuman primate medicine, laboratory animal medicine and/or emergency medicine preferred. Certification as a Diplomat of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) preferred.
  • Results-driven and achievement oriented. Conveys optimism and demonstrates resilience. Recovers quickly from set-backs and overcomes obstacles.
  • Organized yet flexible. Willing to pivot or adjust plan in order to respond to changing priorities or the needs of chimpanzees.
  • Conveys energy and passion about Chimp Haven’s work and mission. Ability to tell the Chimp Haven story and discuss the veterinary program with visitors.
  • Writes clearly and concisely.
  • Collaborates with team members within the veterinary department and across the organization to discuss ideas, develop new processes and solve problems related to chimpanzee care; operates with authenticity, clarity, transparency and effectiveness.
  • Willingness to readily share your knowledge with others, answer questions from staff and help others gain an understanding of your work and decisions made.
  • Willingness to seek and listen to feedback from others and find the best way to incorporate feedback.
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure and maintain positive interactions with colleagues, staff and volunteers even during times of stress.
  • Strong technology skills; experience leading a data-driven approach to development.
    Proficiency in MS Office applications (Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.) and Avimark software system preferred.
  • Experience with IACUC activities and research protocol review/approval process, and/or consultant service to the IACUC

Other Requirements and Working Conditions

  • This work will require bending, carrying, kneeling, lifting, listening, pulling, pushing, reading, speaking, squatting, standing, stooping, stretching, walking, watching, and writing.
  • Must be able to routinely lift and carry 50lbs for short distances.
  • Must be able to assist in lifting chimpanzees (up to 75lbs).
  • Duties may require driving Chimp Haven vehicles, and must have a valid driver’s license and meet Chimp Haven’s motor vehicle operating standards.
  • Requires performing duties indoor and outdoor in all climates.
  • Potential exists for animal bites and scratches.
  • Potential exposure to unpleasant odors, animal wastes, animal tissues and body fluids, toxic chemicals, zoonotic diseases (tuberculosis, shigella, etc.) infectious agents (Hepatitis B, C, HIV, etc.)
  • Weekend, holiday, and night work may be necessary.
  • Participation in a medical monitoring and surveillance program that includes hepatitis B and other inoculations is required.
  • Safety training, equipment, clothing, and supplies will be provided.
  • A demonstration of effective leadership required.