To celebrate the Eighth Anniversary of the chimps’ arrival to the sanctuary, we’re taking a quick trip down memory lane. Click here to read about Year One.
As the chimps entered their second year in sanctuary, their physical and emotional transformations were becoming ever more apparent. When they first arrived, their hair was sparse, their skin was pale, and their muscles were atrophied. These early photos of Jamie speak volumes.
Some bore not just the scars of experimentation, but also indelible, haunting reminders of their traumatic pasts in the form of prominent identification tattoos. Jamie was CH-522.
To our great relief, the tattoos became harder and harder to see as their bodies recovered from years in that windowless basement. By Year Two, their hair had begun to grow in, their skin had darkened, and their faces – once frozen and nearly expressionless – were overflowing with personality.
As Diana mentioned in her Year One post, our resources were extremely limited in those early days. With our goal of freeing the chimps from that laboratory basement accomplished, we set our sights on improving their sanctuary home as best we could. Thanks to support from our amazing donors and volunteers, we were able to convert the chimps’ modest outdoor area into a four-season, convertible greenhouse so that they could bask in warm sunlight even on the coldest winter days:
With their bodies healed and their sanctuary home upgraded, the chimps did what happy chimps do best – play! It was amazing to watch them throw off the weight of all those decades in the lab.