VIDEO: Captive Chimpanzee Sees the World for the First Time

Photo by Vlad Kutepov on Unsplash

( – Vanilla is a 28-year-old chimpanzee who has lived her entire life not just in captivity, but more specifically in a California facility “inside a chain-link fence cage with no grass” or other sources of enrichment. Recently, she was rescued by the organization Save the Chimps, who shared the store and video of the chimpanzee walking outdoors for the first time in her life.

As the organization shared with Storyful, Vanilla had never been outside of the lab cage or the garage-sized enclosure that had been used for her transfer to California. Even prior to her move to California, she had been kept in a small cage at a rescue lab in New York.

In the recent video, Vanilla jumps outside and hugs one of the other chimps, before looking up at the sky in amazement. The entire family of chimps is also walking around her new surroundings, socializing as they go. Some of them were sitting under the shade, while others were grooming each other.

Vanilla needed to be quarantined and re-homed before being introduced to the greater family that is in the sanctuary. On the website, it reads that she is now fully integrated with the rest of the group, and that they have access to three acres on an island where they can explore and spend their days outdoors.

Her biography on the website notes how excited she was to see the blue sky for the first time, as previously she had only seen cage tops. She also spoke about how much she was enjoying exploring the island and spending time with her family.


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