Monday, September 12, 2011

Lab Chimps See Daylight For First Time

In just one day tens of thousands of people have watched a stirring video of joyful and tentative laboratory chimpanzees getting their first taste of sunlight.

“They hugged, they laughed,” said Michael Aufhauser, founder of the Gut Aiderbichl Affen-Refugium near Salzburg in Austria which has taken in and built new enclosures for the chimps.

“Imagine, one is 30 years imprisoned in an elevator, and then suddenly the door opens,” he told the German television station RTL which filmed the moment.

“They have never learned to climb. They had been placed as infants in the laboratory.”

Some, like the 37-year-old chimp Susi, had been in a lab for three decades.

In the video, the first three chimps crowd a doorway, heads swivelling back and forth, as they absorb the sights and smells and feel of outdoors. The trio hug, glance around warily, then venture out as a fourth and then a fifth chimp appears in the doorway.

Liberated, they stroll around the grass gleefully.

Full story here.

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