Vanilla, the chimpanzee, spent her early years in a biomedical research laboratory in New York, confined behind the bars of a birdcage. However, in 1995, she and 30 other chimpanzees were transferred to the Wildlife Waystation, where they experienced freedom for the first time. Unfortunately, the sanctuary later closed, and Vanilla and her family faced uncertainty about their future once again. But thanks to the organization Save the Chimps, Vanilla finally found her forever home.
Vanilla is now 28 years old, and for most of her life, she couldn’t see the sky, being in the enclosures of the sanctuary where the top of the cage concealed it from her view. However, everything changed when she arrived at her new home. When she first stepped out of the enclosure, she hesitated for a moment, but then she looked up.
The first glimpse of the open sky filled Vanilla with incredible delight. She couldn’t believe how beautiful it was and how much she had missed by not being able to see it before. Vanilla continued to gaze upward as she explored, grateful to finally be safe and free.
Now, Vanilla spends most of her time outdoors, enjoying the sight of the sky alongside her family. She genuinely loves her new home and serves as a reminder to us never to take simple things, such as the opportunity to see the sky, for granted.