Forecast calls for sunny skies and one happy chimp

Nothing but blue skies ahead for Vanilla, a 29-year-old chimpanzee who spent her earlier years in a biomedical research laboratory in New York with no access to sunlight or time outside. With help from FedEx, Vanilla was transported with six other chimpanzees, known as the Sunrise Seven, from the Wildlife Waystation in California to Save The Chimps in Florida.  Before arriving in Florida, Vanilla and the rest of the Sunrise Seven, many of whom were rescued from biomedical research facilities or the entertainment industry, lived in terrible conditions.  Save The Chimps is providing Vanilla a true sanctuary where she can roam in a natural setting with other chimpanzees for the rest of her life.

As a part of her acclimation to a new environment and friends, Vanilla was first quarantined and then introduced to different groups of chimpanzees to see who she blended best with. Vanilla has joined the Air Force group — a troop of chimps that are the offspring of primates used by NASA and the U.S. Air Force. Her days are filled with roaming, leisurely naps, and lots of sunshine with her newfound friends.

"Vanilla has a long future; she can live here for another 30 or 40 years," Dan Mathews, Save The Chimps, said. "She seems glad to have her own world, to finally have the closest thing to a natural habitat. She is embracing it."

To see Vanilla’s long-awaited introduction to her outdoor island home at Save The Chimps Florida sanctuary, please click here.

FedEx transported this precious cargo as a part of the company’s FedEx Cares “Delivering for Good” initiative, in which FedEx lends its global network and unparalleled logistics expertise to organizations with mission-critical needs and helps communities before, during and after crises. Learn more about FedEx Cares Delivering for Good initiative here.


***Photo/video credit Save the Chimps