They've Been Locked Up For 30 Years. Watch What Happens When These Chimps Are Finally Set Free

A group of nearly 40 primates appears overjoyed after being freed from a lifetime in confinement.

We humans sometimes like to think we're vastly different from our fellow creatures, even our fellow primates the chimps, who are virtually identical to us on the genetic level. But after watching the video above, you may question just how wide the gulf is between us and our simian cousins.

Decades ago a group of infant chimps was captured in Africa and brought to Europe, where they spent the next 30 years in cages as they were used for medical research. Finally, in 2011, a group of nearly 40 -- which included a few chimps who were born in captivity -- was released into an Austrian sanctuary called Gut Aiderbichl.

In the video above, watch as these intelligent, sociable creatures take their first tentative steps into the sunlight, at first clinging to the doorway of their holding pen before breaking into wide smiles of joy as they feel the grass beneath their feet and explore their new home. We're sure you'll be smiling right along with them.


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