Rebekah and Mark

Image 1 of Rebekah and Mark

How We Met

We fell in love over our shared dedication to the care of chimpanzees. In fact, before we met, we both uprooted our lives to move to a remote part of Louisiana where we arrived knowing no one so we could each dedicate our career to providing care for chimpanzees retired at Chimp Haven from biomedical research.

Trudging around in work boots, cleaning chimpanzee habitats, and preparing meals for hundreds of the sanctuary’s residents may not sound like a romantic encounter for many, but for us, meeting a soul mate who shares the same love and devotion for the care of chimpanzees, it was love at first sight.

We started dating in 2010, culminating in a small 2012 wedding ceremony against the backdrop where our love bloomed: the observation deck at Chimp Haven, overlooking the lush forested habitats and scenic moat so the chimpanzees could be honored guests for the occasion. When we were expecting our second child, we even enlisted the help of some chimpanzees at the sanctuary to reveal the sex of our baby, and both of us were featured in the Disney+ documentary series about the sanctuary and its chimpanzees, “Meet the Chimps”.

As two animal lovers who want to make a difference, we each took the plunge and moved to a new part of the country to pursue our passion. The result: we ended up finding a life partner to connect with on a deeper level, sharing unique, new personal and professional experiences that help us relate to our everyday joys and frustrations and we are raising our children to pursue the kind of life that fills you with purpose.

How They Asked

We got engaged on March 12, 2012. We were surrounded by beautiful, vibrant Azaleas in bloom at the Norton Botanical Gardens in Shreveport, La. We had previously visited the Gardens a few times beforehand, and it was the perfect place to start our next
journey together.

Image 2 of Rebekah and Mark

Special Thanks

Mark and Rebekah Lewis
 | Photographer
Mark and Rebekah Lewis
 | Photographer