Photo Credit: chimpsanctuarynw
If you’ve ever been stuck inside a room, perhaps after surgery or because you’ve been unable to get outdoors, then you might have a small inkling as to how a lab chimpanzee felt when he first saw the sun and sky after being a lifetime being in a cage. The chimp had been used for painful testing and didn’t have the freedom to explore and be with other animals of his kind.
Of course there are hundreds of chimps living in cages in labs across the U.S. They’re kept for research purposes and live much of their lives in captivity, never going outside or interacting with other chimpanzees in a natural way.
Fortunately, the Humane Society of the United States has been stepping in to give these chimps better lives. As they age, they retire just like people. Only for chimps, retiring means living in a natural habitat, climbing trees, and getting to know each other.
Most of them haven’t touched the ground in many years, and they’re unsure of how to react.
When four-year-old chimp Arden was finally saved from the cage she’s lived in forever and released into a safe sanctuary with other chimps, she couldn’t stop staring at the sun and the sky. Her response to finally getting outdoors is extremely touching and heartbreaking.
Now in a sanctuary known as Chimp Haven, Arden spends her days with her family – finally without bars between them.
You can watch this amazing video that shows the chimps’ reactions at being released.