A moving video shows how a chimpanzee who had lived her whole life in a cage jumped for “joy when she saw the sky for the first time”.
Vanilla is a 29-year-old monkey who lived through the notorious Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP) in New York City.
She lived in the well-known lab until she was two years old. The lab closed in 1997. She was then taken to a rescue center in California with a group of other animals. There, she was put in a bigger enclosure with a roof that blocked her view of the sky.
But the shelter closed for good in 2019, so Vanilla and the other 480 animals who lived there, including 42 chimps, were once again homeless. Rescuers then rushed to find new homes for all of the monkeys. Vanilla was one of the last seven monkeys to be moved.
The primate and her family were finally moved to their new home in Fort Pierce, Florida, at the “Save the Chimps refuge.
Dr. Andrew Halloran, who works at the” sanctuary, is an expert on primates. He shared a touching video of the time alpha male Dwight and 18 other primates gave Vanilla a hug to welcome her to her new home.
Vanilla looked so happy when more of her housemates met her with open arms, and she kept looking up in shock. Emotional video “shows her running around the three-acre island with joy and sitting with her new family while they groom each other.
Halloran told The” New York Post, “In California, Vanilla lived with a few other chimps in a chain-link fence cage where there was no grass and not much to do.”
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The primate expert said that when Vanilla and the other chimps aren’t exploring their island, “she sits on top of a three-story climbing platform” and looks out at her new world. She also “lives on one of 12 islands. The islands are separated by small waterbeds” so that each chimp has their own place.
Dr. Halloran said that she gets along well with her new family and that she has a special bond with “Dwight, from whom she sometimes steals food.
Save the” Chimps is one of the biggest places for chimpanzees to live in the world. It was started by Caroline Noon “in 1997.
In response to the U.S. Air Force’s announcement that it would no longer do study on chimpanzees”, a charity that doesn’t make money was set up. Its goal is to save animals who have been kept as pets, used in lab tests, or in the entertainment business.
Since it opened, 330 chimpanzees in need have lived there.