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Chimpanzee caged for 28 years "in awe" after seeing sky

Chimpanzee for 28 years "in awe" after being released from cage
Watch: Chimpanzee "in awe" of sky after being released from cage after 28 years 01:02
Chimpanzee Caged for 28 Years 'in Awe' After Seeing Sky

Fort Pierce, FL - A 28-year-old chimpanzee named Vanilla was "in awe" as she saw open sky for the first time at a sanctuary in Florida recently, a rescue organization said on June 27.

Save the Chimps, a privately funded sanctuary in Fort Pierce, on Florida's east coast, released video showing Vanilla "awestruck as she beholds the open sky for the first time at her new island home," the group said.

The video shows the chimp being greeted with a hug by an alpha male named Dwight as she leaves her enclosure.

According to the organization, Vanilla was a survivor of a now-closed research lab in New York where chimpanzees were kept in small cages.

She was then transferred to a sanctuary in California where she lived "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 said.

"Vanilla is settling in very well," the group said in a statement. "When she's not exploring the island with her friends she can usually be found perched atop a three-story climbing platform surveying her new world.

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