Imagine being locked up inside for 30 years, without ever seeing the sun. That’s what these lab chimps went through, while also being used as test subjects by a pharmaceutical company for HIV and hepatitis.
The chimps, ranging in age from 20 to 30, were taken from their mothers in the wild shortly after birth. They were released from the lab in 1997, after the pharmaceutical company was sold, but the process of reintroducing them to the outdoors took another 14 years. This video, that shows that money, when they saw daylight again for the first time in decades. It will absolutely bring a smile to your face, even if it makes you a little sad.
Update: Here’s a translation:
They see for the first time in their lives, the sun. After decades in an experiment laboratory, this is the first step of the chimpanzees in to freedom.
They hugged each other, like they would say they were finally free. And then they laughed. One imagines being locked up for 30 years in an elevator, then to open the door with friends and say “I don’t believe it.” They have only seen people wearing protective clothing; they have never had regular contact. They never learned to climb, because they were brought to the laboratory as babies. Now they can finally get out.
Most of the former 38 monkeys have spent the entire lives behind bars. Since 2002, they are now in an Austrian village, slowing being prepared a life in freedom. This moment was for both animal and people equally unique.
I saw a chimpanzee, who was starring completely fascinated at a butterfly. He knew it, from back when he was a small chimpanzee in the jungle, and now he can see them again.
And the monkeys that were born in the laboratory are discovering everything for the first time. The air, the grass, the freedom.