Chimpanzees may be native to the jungles of central Africa -- but there's certainly something in their bold smooching style that's undeniably French.
The good folks at the Chimp Sanctuary Northwest in Washington state recently installed a hidden camera to monitor the seven rescued chimpanzees under their care. It didn't take long before Foxie, a precocious 36-year-old female, caught wind of the new recording equipment, though her reaction was anything but cold and unwelcoming. For a moment she smiles squarely into the camera lens before delivering what might best be described as a 'wet one'.
If Foxie's sloppy kiss seems the gesture of a happy chimp, it's probably because she has a lot to be grateful for.
Like the other chimpanzees at the sanctuary, Foxie spent most of her life behind bars as a laboratory test subject where she was used in experimental hepatitis vaccine research. During her confinement, she was bred to produce five offspring which were each stripped from her in their infancy.
Last year, however, Foxie and the six other chimps were rescued from their grim existence in the lab and sent to spend their retirement on the sprawling grounds of the Chimp Sanctuary. For the chimpanzees, all of which were born in captivity, this was first the moment they felt the liberating rays of sunshine on their long-burdened backs.
Although she is now free from pain of her past life and contented in her retirement, the emotional scars remain. Within a month of her arrival at the sanctuary, Foxie adopted a doll to care for in the absence of her own children. Her supporters have since donated hundreds of new dolls to help bring joy to Foxie's life, but she remains attached to that one, even if it's a little worn from wear.
Perhaps she can relate.