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Thread: Delighted chimpanzees see daylight for the first time‎

  1. #1
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Dec 2006

    Default Delighted chimpanzees see daylight for the first time‎

    Like prisoners emerging from a lifetime behind bars, a group of chimpanzees step blinking into the sunlight with what appears for all the world to be a wave and a smile.
    And they have much to be joyful about. For this is the first time they have felt grass under their feet and breathed fresh air for 30 years.
    Though a few of the chimps were born in captivity, most were kidnapped from African jungles as babies and flown to Europe, where they were locked in metal laboratory cages to be used in a long series of experiments.

    Hello world: With a wave and what appears to be a smile, chimpanzees step into the daylight for the first time in 30 years at the Gut Aiderbichl Animal Sanctuary, near Salzburg, Austria

    What do you think? Clyde the chimpanzee takes a brave peek at the great outdoors, and right, three chimps jostle for a glimpse of their new world. A total of 38 chimps have been released into the £3m sanctuary

    Sweet dreams: Susi, a 37-year-old chimp, sunbathes in freedom for the first time. Susi has not been outside for 35 years

    Horrifyingly, their mothers - who would usually raise them for six years - were all slaughtered.
    The aim of the firm that bought them was to find a vaccine to combat Aids. Because chimps share 99per cent of the gene code of man, they seemed natural subjects for study.

    Behind bars: One of the chimps in the cages that were home to them for many years

    But that meant they suffered terrible cruelties in the years that followed, including being injected with the HIV virus.
    Hooked up to machines and pumped full of chemicals, they were truly prisoners of utter despair. With no stimulation, no nurturing love and no hope, many were driven to the brink of madness and sometimes beyond.

    But their ordeal finally ended on Tuesday when the 38 surviving chimps were released into a £3million sanctuary in Austria, allowing them to feel the nurturing contact of their fellow chimps after years of being separated by bars and bullet-proof glass.
    Now, Susi, David, Clyde, Lingoa, Moritz and all the others will be free to enjoy the remainder of their lives together, thanks to the unstinting efforts of a 59-year-old conservationist named Michael Aufhauser.
    The founder of an animal charity that operates in four European countries, he oversaw the construction of the sanctuary outside Vienna, which is built on the site of a defunct safari park.

    ‘Who knows what scars they carry on the inside,’ says Mr Aufhauser.

    Overjoyed: The apes embrace before venturing out onto the grass together

    Free at last! A chimp appears to grin widely as he explores grassy terrain after decades in captivity

    Is it safe? A chimpanzee tentatively waits inside after a door is opened to his freedom

    ‘They are all traumatised to greater or lesser degrees. Two of them died before the reserve was finished, but at least those that are left will have a quality of life that was unthinkable when they were prisoners of the lab.
    ‘Some chimpanzees were infected with the HIV virus. Of course, they became HIV positive. But none of them, not here in Austria or anywhere else in the world, developed full-blown Aids. Therefore, the programme was useless. It achieved absolutely nothing.’

    Several years ago, the giant American pharmaceutical company Baxter took over the Austrian laboratory, and immediately announced it had no intention of continuing the testing programme.
    More than that, its bosses decided the firm had a moral responsibility to improve the life of the chimps, who can live to the age of 50 or 60.
    They were moved to an indoor shelter in a safari park, but when it went into liquidation in 2004 the building of an outdoor sanctuary was stopped and the animals were forced to spend several more years in cages.
    But no longer. ‘At last,’ says Mr Aufhauser. ‘They will have some dignity and some fun for what remains of their lives.’

    Read more: Lab chimps freed after caged fior 30 years and injected with HIV | Mail Online

  2. #2
    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Aug 2008


    the programme was useless. It achieved absolutely nothing.’
    You think they would have realized that years ago.

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."

    -- Stephen Hawking

  3. #3
    Elite Member Seth82's Avatar
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    Dec 2010


    that to me seems crazy keeping them locked up for 30 yrs
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Feb 2007


    Poor,poor darlings. I hope they have a happy life now.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  5. #5
    Elite Member OrangeSlice's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Studying with Master Grumpy Cat


    How heartbreaking and cruel. So glad they can enjoy what is left of their lives now.
    "Schadenfreude, hard to spell, easy to feel." ~VenusinFauxFurs

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  6. #6
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    In the "D"


    How joyous they look now! Wow - I am so thrilled for them.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
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    Elite Member Chalet's Avatar
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    May 2006


    I want to have a picnic with them.

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    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    Hanging with the raisin girls


    It's depressing to think about what they have been through. I'm very happy for them now.

  9. #9
    Elite Member angelais's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Jon Hamm's pants


    I love the photo of the chimp in the grass, just totally soaking up the sun.
    Did you know that an anagram for "Conscious Uncoupling" is "Iconic Uncool Pus Guns"? - MohandasKGanja

  10. #10
    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    I saw the video of this the other night on a news program, and it was wonderful yet heartbreaking to see the expression of joy on their faces, the way they were hugging each other like prisoners who were finally granted freedom after being locked up unjustly (which I guess is what they were).

  11. #11
    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    Jan 2007


    That's great to see, but the evil and cruelty they've lived with just kills me. So ok, if you really think these experiments are important, but why the fuck couldn't they have access to some grass or something? There's no fucking reason they had to live without any nurturing or contact with the outdoors. It makes me sick.
    Santa is an elitist mother fucker -- giving expensive shit to rich kids and nothing to poor kids.

  12. #12
    Elite Member bellini's Avatar
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    Oct 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Chalet View Post
    I want to have a picnic with them.
    I don't know about that. They might chew your face off.

    I'm so happy to see them free. The video was touching. They saw sunlight and smiled and hugged each other.

  13. #13
    Elite Member Butterfly's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    In a Handbasket


    So happy for them. My heart breaks for the ones who never had the chance to see the beauty of the outside world.
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  14. #14
    Hit By Ban Bus! rockchick's Avatar
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    Mankind just sucks the shit sometimes. I'm so happy for those poor chimps.

  15. #15
    Elite Member Fly_On_TheWall's Avatar
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    Jan 2008


    Those pictures! I'm crying. Look at the joy on their faces. And I'd rather be around animals than humans. But I'm weird.

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