Chimpanzee Rescued From a Biomedical Research Lab Sees the Sky for the First Time in Her 28 Year Life

A beautiful rescued chimpanzee named Vanilla tentatively walked outside to see the sky for the first time in her 28 years of life. After a few moments of getting acclimated and a big hug from her friend Dwight, the chimp gleefully followed her sister Shake‘s lead and took off into the freedom of the open air.

Vanilla and Shake have been fully integrated into a large family group and were released onto their island home! Shake went right out, but Vanilla was hesitant. Nothing an encouraging hug from the alpha, Dwight, couldn’t fix. Watch as Vanilla is in awe of the vast open sky for the first time

Vanilla spent her early years in a tiny cage at a biomedical research facility in New York before being moved to Wildlife WayStation in 1995 and then flown by FedEx Cares into quarantine at the Save the Chimps sanctuary in Florida after the Wildlife WayStation closed in 2019.

I spent my early years in a biomedical research laboratory in New York where chimpanzees were commonly housed in 5’x5’x7’ cages suspended from the ground like bird cages. I was among thirty chimpanzees to be sent to the Wildlife Waystation in 1995 where I joined a small family group. In 2019, the Wildlife Waystation closed, …I was among the final seven to be re-homed, and my family and I made the cross-country trip to Florida in a FedEx airplane, thanks to the FedEx Cares program. 

Vanilla and Shake have been fully integrated into a larger chimp family that enjoys a three-acre island in Florida where they can be free.

After quarantine, a process that all new chimpanzees at Save the Chimps go through, my family and I are being introduced into one of the larger family groups here at the sanctuary. I am now fully integrated into the group and we have a 3-acre island to explore and the freedom to choose where and how to spend our days. 

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via Boing Boing

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