Monday, September 8, 2008

North Georgia's Gorilla Haven opens for limited tours

Posted By on Mon, Sep 8, 2008 at 9:57 PM


In October 2007, Scott Freeman wrote a cover story about Morganton, Ga.'s, Gorilla Haven, a kind of foster home for gorillas in need:

Traditionally, zoos have had to separate gorillas such as Oliver that don't neatly fit into their outdoor habitats. And because of space limitations, they're often housed in less-than-ideal conditions. But Oliver is among the fortunate ones; nestled in the mountains about 90 minutes north of Atlanta is a one-of-a-kind facility called Gorilla Haven that was built with gorillas like Oliver in mind. It is a place that few outside the primate world know about because it's not open to the public.

Not open to the public — until now. Gorilla Haven's holding a series of limited tours this fall on Sat., Sept. 13, Wed., Oct. 8, Sat., Oct. 11 and Sat., Oct. 18 from noon-2 p.m. (The Oct. 18 tour is already sold out, but a waiting list is available.) The tours will serve as fundraisers for the sanctuary, which has struggled financially since the economy took a nosedive.

According to the event press release, Gorilla Haven receives "no revenue from the government, zoos or grants. Until now, everything has been funded by [owners Jane and Steuart Dewar]." The couple operates the facilities through the Dewar Wildlife Trust, Inc.

A donation of $50 is suggested per person, $25 for additional family members. Contact Emily Moreland at 706-851-9440 or for reservations. Info can also be found on Gorilla Haven's website,

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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