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Fox News
Fox News
1 Jul 2023


A chimpanzee that had been locked up her entire life walked outdoors for the first time in nearly 30 years, video shows.

The 28-year-old chimpanzee named Vanilla was recently transferred to a sanctuary in Fort Pierce, Florida. Save the Chimps, a rescue organization, told Storyful that Vanilla originally lived in a California facility "inside a chain-link fence cage with no grass and very little enrichment."

"She had never been outside of a lab cage or the garage-sized enclosure she was transferred to in California," Save the Chimps explained.

Before she was moved to California, she lived in a small cage at a rescue lab in New York.

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Chimps hugging each other

The 28-year-old chimpanzee named Vanilla was recently transferred to a sanctuary in Fort Pierce, Florida. (Save the Chimps/Dr Andrew Halloran via Storyful)

The heartwarming video shows Vanilla jumping outside to hug another chimp. She then gazes in amazement at the blue sky.

The family of chimps are also seen wandering in their new surroundings, socializing and walking in a huge green field.

The troop also sat under a structure to get some shade, where some of them groomed each other. Vanilla had been quarantined, re-homed and introduced into a larger family group at the sanctuary.

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Chimps grazing in field

The family of chimps are also wandering in their new surroundings, socializing and walking in a huge green field. (Save the Chimps/Dr Andrew Halloran via Storyful)

"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," Vanilla's biography on the Save the Chimps website reads. "My first time outside, I was in awe of the open sky, a sight I had never seen in my life as my former homes had cage tops."

"I enjoy exploring the island and relaxing and grooming with my family on the island," her biography adds.

Chimps sitting together outside

The troop also sat under a structure to get some shade at the sanctuary, where some of them groomed each other. (Save the Chimps/Dr Andrew Halloran via Storyful)

Fox News Digital reached out to Save the Chimps for a statement, but has not heard back.