Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Incredible Moment: a Chimpanzee smiles and hugs the woman who saved her from a research lab 25 years ago

Chimps were released from a hepatitis research lab after six years
Linda Koebner was one of the carers who taught them to live in the wild
She worked with the animals for six years

Koebner then went and started her own chimpanzee sanctuary in Louisiana
She returned to visit the chimps in Florida and was lovingly embraced by the ones that still live there

She helped rescue them from the cages of a research laboratory 25 years ago and taught them how to live in the wold.

Now animal behaviorist Linda Koebner has received all the thanks she needed from the animals she hasn't seen for all those years - a 'welcome back' hug.

Koebner, who founded the non-profit chimpanzee sanctuary Chimp Haven in Louisiana, spent four years teaching the chimps how to be wild in southern Florida after they were released from the hepatitis research lab where they lived.

She then returned to the enclosure and was greeted with open arms by the chimps, which was captured on camera and featured on the PBS documentary

'Chimpanzees have provided us so much in this world,' Koebner says in the film.

'So much knowledge about ourselves, about our social lives, about our dispositions, because they are so much like us as beings.'

'These chimpanzees have taught me about resilience.

'All of these have gone through such tremendous adversity, and yet they're forgiving, and they're whole again.'

But the animals have a lot to thank her for. Koebner remembers how, when the chimps were finallly released from the cages they had lived in for six years, they didn't know what to do.

She says it was difficult for them to embrace the outdoors