Chimpanzee caged for 18 years gets a taste of freedom in Florida

7:27 AM, Jan 14, 2014   |    comments
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Fort Pierce, FL - A chimpanzee rescued from a Nevada zoo just got his first taste of freedom at a sanctuary in south Florida.

"Terry" the chimp spent almost 20 years in a cage.  Now he's living a life of chimp luxury at a retirement community of sorts on the Treasure Coast .

"I was very curious as to how he was going to react because sometimes the chimps when they get the opportunity to go outside, they stay indoors because that's what they're used to," said Save The Chimps Director Jen Feuerstein.  But not terry, who hopped right outside to bright blue skies. 

Caregivers think terry is 33 years old.  Rescued a few months ago from a zoo in Las Vegas. 

According to Feuerstein, "He was very, very reserved when he first came.  He didn't' want to interact with his caregivers.  He was very shy."

But after a month - terry came out of his shell. 

Feuerstein also said, "He's a very playful guy, very happy, very laid back, loves toys, loves blankets, just a sweetheart all the way around."

He's met two other chimp friends who live at the save the chimps sanctuary in Fort Pierce.  It's essentially a retirement community for 261 chimps.

Twelve different, 3 acre islands surrounded by deep canals so they can't get out.  Terry's hasn't quite made it all the way out to the island, staying pretty close to his cage
but caregivers say today was a step in the right direction.

Save The Chimps offers a long term home for the animals it shelters.  Most of the chimpanzees at the sanctuary were the subject of animal experiments before they were saved by the group.

WPBF via CNN Newssource

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