They were trapped indoors with an exotic animal keeper who has since been sentenced before arriving in a 150-acre sanctuary.
Having a home is something that we often take for granted but for many animals and even humans, it is something that they always wish for. Four chimpanzees, Anna, April, Lucy and Cash, used to live in a Zoo in Ohio called the Union Ridge Wildlife Center. Here, they were kept indoors by an exotic animal keeper. There were many complaints against the animal keeper's facility and it eventually led to him being sentenced to prison. The custody of the four chimpanzees has now been given to Florida’s Save the Chimps sanctuary in Fort Pierce, Florida. Save the Chimps sanctuary workers went to Ohio from Florida, rescued the chimpanzees and took them to their new homes. As they arrived in the 150-acre sanctuary, they shared a warm hug of relief, which has been captured by a camera, per PEOPLE.
Anna, April, Lucy, and Cash will be in the sanctuary's large indoor enclosures to quarantine for about two months. After which, they will be outdoors with Save the Chimps' other primates. "These are extremely intelligent chimpanzees who deserve the chance to explore a larger world," Dr. Andrew Halloran, Save the Chimps' director of chimpanzee behavior and care, said in a statement. "We look forward to seeing them thrive on a vast island habitat with 15-20 new lifelong companions, with the freedom to choose where they want to be and who they want to be with."
Save the Chimps has saved the lives of over 220 chimpanzees from "labs, show businesses, the pet trade, and roadside zoos". Brittany Peet, PETA's general counsel for captive animal law enforcement, said, "It's a happy new chapter for these four chimpanzees, who will have a great life, with lush grounds to explore and the opportunity to socialize with others of their kind. PETA urges everyone to steer clear of roadside zoos as if animals' lives depend on it — because they do."
"We look forward to seeing them thrive on a vast island habitat with 15–20 new lifelong companions, with the freedom to choose where they want to be and who they want to be with,” said Save the Chimps’ Director of Chimpanzee Behavior and Care, Dr. Andrew Halloran.
Chimps Who Spent Their Lives at Roadside Zoo Share Sweet Hug After Moving to New Sanctuary Home https://t.co/wHumHdMe0v— People (@people) April 18, 2023
Save the Chimps has also posted about them on their website. For Anna, the website says, "I arrived to Save the Chimps in April 2023 after the Ohio Department of Agriculture awarded Save the Chimps custody. Upon arrival, I was the first to enter our new home and immediately ran the length of the play yard, then explored the upper level. April, Cash, Lucy, and I settled in quickly, embracing and grooming each other, as well as greeting sanctuary staff. We are offered a variety of enrichment items, and I have found that I enjoy bamboo toothbrushes and scarves."
For April, the website says, "I have a favorite pink stuffed monkey that I carry around, I drape it across my back as I walk." Lucy is the sweeter one of this group, as the website reads, "I’m the caregiver of my small family and can often be found grooming everyone. I’m also very sweet and friendly to the care staff. " As for Cash, it reads, "I immediately went outside and explored our play yard and even climbed to the top. I get excited over the food and enrichment offered, particularly the fresh-cut browse." If you want to donate towards the well-being of these chimpanzees, you can do so through the website.