When I look at pictures like these, I wonder what is going through the chimpanzee’s mind.
I wonder if Annie knows that her days full of anxiety are a thing of the past. I wonder if she knows the rest of her days at the sanctuary will be filled with moments when she can feel peaceful.
Does Missy know that she will never be confined to a space the size of a bathroom stall again? Does she know that for the rest of her days, she is free to run like the wind, climb as high as she can, and tightrope walk whenever she feels the need?
Does Negra know that Young’s Hill will be open for her to come and go as she pleases each and every day (as long as it is safe for the chimps to have access to the outdoor space)? And does she know, that for the rest of her days, whenever she looks up, she will be able to see the sky overhead?
Does Foxie know that her beloved dolls will never be taken from her (well, other than for cleaning)? Does she know that she will always have her companions as long as she wants them?
Does Jamie know this will always be her home to patrol and protect? And does she know that she will always be the one to call the shots?
Do they know their days used as test subjects in the lab and as entertainers are a thing of the past? Do they know they are now in their forever home, surrounded by a community of people (all around the world) who will continue to love and support them for the rest of their lives?
I can only hope each day they wake up knowing that the day is theirs to choose to do what they wish, whether it be running and leaping, resting, grooming, playing or gazing out of the windows to the valley below. I hope they wake up with a sense of hope and wonder for what the day may bring. And I hope that at the end of each day, they can close their eyes, knowing they are safe in the comfort of their forever sanctuary home.
Thank you to everyone who makes it possible for them to know their sanctuary home!