This is the heartwarming second time 29-year-old chimpanzee Vanilla bursts with joy as she sees the sky for the first time after spending her entire life in a cage.
On her move-in day, Vanilla is captured in cute shots inspired by alpha male Dwight to go outside and gaze in awe at the sky. It was the 29-year-old’s emotional first time outside in a five-foot cage or enclosure.
After Vanilla lived in an experimental lab in New York for up to two years, she stayed in a shelter in California, where she couldn’t see the sky clearly because of the fenced-off roof.
She was then moved to the Save the Chimps Preserve in Fort Pierce, Florida.
Vanilla was greeted with a hug from Dwight as soon as she entered the sanctuary, where she will be staying with 18 different primates. She felt very happy when she was welcomed with open arms.
And when the other members of the primate house came here to greet her, she continued to look up at the sky in disbelief.
On the day of her move to the Save the Chimps Preserve in Fort Pierce, Florida, the sweet video captured Vanilla, eager to take to the open skies in awe.
The chimpanzee was greeted with a hug from alpha male Dwight as soon as she entered the sanctuary, where she will be staying with 225 different primates, 18 of which are on her island. Vanilla was visibly excited about her brand new surroundings
The video also finds her happily working her way across the three-acre island and sitting with her new household grooming each other.
The video was made by Dr. Andrew Halloran, primatologist at Save the Chimps New York Post: “In California, Vanilla lived with a handful of chimpanzees in a chain cage, with no medicine and very little enrichment.”
Dr. Halloran stated that when Vanilla is not exploring her island with opposing chimps, she sits on a three-story climbing platform overlooking her new world.
Vanilla, described by Save the Chimps as objective, curious and intelligent, lives on one of 12 islands separated by small bodies of water. This allows the sanctuary to provide the chimpanzees with their own outdoor playground.
dr. Halloran added that she will get along well with the 18 chimpanzees on her island, and noted that Vanilla has a special bond with alpha male Dwight, from whom she routinely steals meals.
The island communities cover a whopping 150 acres, and each chimpanzee is matched to the island by a primatologist based primarily on their personality and habits.
More of her new housemates came here to greet Vanilla as she continued to stare at the digital camera and the sky in disbelief.
The lovely shots additionally confirmed that she was happily working on a three-acre island
At the top of the video, she was seen with her new household grooming each other
When Vanilla isn’t exploring her new island with opposing chimps, she’s on a three-story climbing platform overlooking her new world.
Vanilla first lived at New York’s now-closed Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery of Primates (LEMSIP), where she was housed until 1995 in five-foot cages suspended from the ceiling—just like birdcage.
Vanilla first lived at the now-closed Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery on Primates (LEMSIP) in New York, where she was housed until 1995 in five-foot-tall cages suspended from the ceiling—much like chicken cages.
She was two years earlier, one of every 30 chimpanzees sent to the Wildlife Waystation in California, becoming a member of a small household group housed in a fenced rooftop enclosure.
But when the shelter closed in 2019, she was once again homeless along with the 480 different animals — including 42 chimpanzees — who lived there.
Rescuers rushed to rehome all the primates, and Vanilla was one of many of the last seven to be relocated. The little household was known as the Sunrise Seven.
The chimpanzee and her household made a cross-country trip to Florida, the place they were placed in quarantine earlier than being slowly released to larger household teams.
Now Vanilla and her household finally have a three-hectare island to discover and roam at will as part of the Save the Chimps Preserve.
The sanctuary’s 226 chimpanzees arrived here from laboratories, the recreational trade, the unique pet trade or roadside zoos, and most of them had to endure solitary confinement.
What was the Laboratory of Primate Experimental Medicine and Surgery and why was it closed?
At one level, the Laboratory of Primate Experimental Medicine and Surgery (LEMSIP) housed 300 chimpanzees and virtually 300 monkeys. Chimpanzees and different non-human primates are subject to intensive biomedical analysis in areas corresponding to copy, blood transfusion, hepatitis B, and HIV.
LEMSIP was founded in 1965 with the goal of becoming a federally funded primate analysis center for the New York space, but it remained strictly a personal laboratory until its closure in 1997.
Jim Mahoney managed to place 109 chimpanzees and 100 monkeys in shelters in North America
Located in a wooded area north of New York, the lab was affiliated with the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine.
In 1995, NYU responded to LEMSIP by abruptly saying that it could be closed and all primates could be turned over to the Coulston Foundation.
At the time, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had formally charged Coulston with neglecting chimpanzees and monkeys.
In 1997, LEMSIP’s chimpanzees were sent to Coulston, but not before Jim Mahoney, LEMSIP’s veterinarian and new director after Jan Moore-Jankowski was fired, managed to place 109 chimpanzees and 100 monkeys in sanctuaries across North America.
They embody the Fauna Foundation, the Wildlife Waystation—where Vanilla has moved—and the Primate Rescue Center.