Earlier this year, the National Institutes of Health recommended releasing 401 of the 451 chimpanzees currently being used for government biomedical testing. This came after a 2011 report declared most of the research to be unnecessary, and it was also a response to the $30 million spending cap on chimpanzee research.
Now 111 of these chimps have been released at Chimp Haven, a nonprofit sanctuary on 200 acres near Keithville, Louisiana. It’s the largest group of chimps to ever be retired from government research, doubling the current population of Chimp Haven.
Many of these chimps have been imprisoned and used in laboratory testing for almost fifty years without seeing the outdoors.
These chimps, some of them nearly 50 years old, will slowly begin to warm to their natural tendencies — hierarchy, grooming, exploring their new habitats. No more bars, no more dark laboratories. Just freedom. Just as nature intended. [HLN via PopSci]
Not since the group of lab research dogs were released have we been this touched by an animal video, or wanted to randomly kick a human so much.