A state of the art chimpanzee observatory could be headed to Southwest Louisiana.
Thursday Acadiana's most avid animal lovers and advocates were introduced to the groundbreaking facility.
Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner Alan Alda were among the many guests.
Chimpanzees are on the verge of extinction. If we don't start doing something in the next 10 to 15 years we need to start breeding them now.
Experts say the solution is the National Chimpanzee Observatory and the Great Ape Zoological Gardens in Louisiana, and they plan to build it right here in Acadiana.
Several hundred chimps and other great apes would live in an ultimate resort. The highly naturalistic environment would provide an ideal place for breeding.
So why Louisiana? The reason is the climate. Officials estimate the observatory will bring hundreds of millions of dollars to southwest Louisiana's economy.
Not only in the direct impact of 500 plus jobs attracting the creative class of the area.
Officials say the project would be a national tourist attraction, Comparable to a Disneyland for animal lovers. It will encompass all types of new technology. It would be the only attraction of its kind in the world. Experts say it could draw over two million new tourists to southwest Louisiana a year.
The facility is in the defining and development stage now. In the next phase of the project officials will work on legislation to aimed at helping to fund the observatory.
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