Retired Lab Chimps See Sunlight For the First Time (Video)

Screenshot via YouTube

The warm, golden glow of sunlight is one of those gifts in life we so often take for granted, though not only does it make life on Earth possible -- it makes it worth living. But for the first time in their lives, a group of chimpanzees in Austria were allowed to see sunlight after being cooped up in cages indoors where they were subjected to laboratory testing, and a video footage captures that moving moment.

According to a report from The Sun, the chimps' were released from a facility in Austria where they had been exposed to diseases, like HIV and hepatitis, for purposes of medical testing. The animals, which numbered around three dozen, were moved to a reserve to live out their days following the lab's closing -- though adjusting to some semblance of normal has taken some time.

From The Sun:

The chimps were moved to a farm where keepers tried to reintroduce them to life outside -- but the process was not easy.

The animals had spent so much time inside they were confused when shown patches of grass -- and repeatedly threw them away.

But finally their moment of freedom came. And their keeper Renate Foidl said: "The chimps are incredibly happy. This is amazing, I have been waiting for this moment for so long."

The use of primates for medical research has long been a source of controversy among animal-rights activists, who consider such testing to be cruel and inhumane. Recently, the countless chimpanzees still kept in laboratories across Europe moved one step closer to the sunlight as well; last year, the EU passed new regulations which limits the use of animals for testing -- including an outright ban on great apes.

After all, every creature under the sun deserve a chance to bask in its glow, and to really live.

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