There are many obvious differences between the chimpanzees’ current lives in sanctuary and their former lives in research labs. We often mention the blue sky, green grass, fresh air, soft blankets, and good food that are regular features of their lives at the sanctuary.
There’s another difference that I think about often: After decades as faceless lab subjects, treated as little more than the ID numbers tattooed on their chests, the Cle Elum Seven chimpanzees are finally known as distinct and unique individuals with distinct and unique personalities, quirks, and preferences. And it’s not just those of us who care for the chimps everyday who know them so well; it’s also all of you who follow the blog and have fallen in love. We’re probably biased, but we think these chimps are the best and they deserve an enormous fan club.
Here’s sweet, gentle, nervous, brave, grass-loving, foot-clapping Annie, unknown and unappreciated for so long. Thank you for loving her.