Watch As Laboratory Animals See Sunlight And Feel Grass For The First Time


Danielle Andrew

Editorial Intern

1705 Watch As Laboratory Animals See Sunlight And Feel Grass For The First Time
Chimpanzee friends. Apple2499/Shutterstock

The necessity of animal testing is undeniable. Animal research has played a vital part in nearly every medical breakthrough in the last decade, providing invaluable data in the fight against AIDS, cancer, Parkinson's, asthma and many, many other illness and diseases that otherwise would have maimed and killed millions of men, women and children. It is an unfortunate but vital part of biological, medical and physiological research. No scientist wants to test on animals - but they recognize that it saves lives.

However, there can be a light at the end of the tunnel for some of the animals used. If the creature is still able to sustain a good quality of life after testing, they are retired to sanctuaries and more natural settings to live out the rest of their days. Indeed, when it comes to animals like chimpanzees, the laboratories are often required to provide funds for the care of the animal after retirement until it dies.


Watching the animals as they are introduced to a more natural environment is extremely heartwarming, if not a little heart-wrenching. The following videos show retired research animals experiencing the outside for the first time.


It's a pity they went through what they did in the first place.




Tissues At The Ready?

The following videos show chimps and Beagles experiencing the outside world for the very first time – an experience some of the animals have been waiting 30 years for.

The animals were previously used in biomedical testing, where they were kept it small cages with no access to a natural environment as clinical conditions were required for the validity and accuracy of testing.




Tentatively experiencing an open sky for the first time was clearly an overwhelming feeling for some of the chimps. Even the feeling of grass under their feet and having space to roam was all new to them. Being able to physically interact with each other also came as a shock as they’d previously lived in singular metal cages. Although the chimps required a period of time to adjust, they began to express natural behaviors in the form of grooming, displays of dominance (to express natural hierarchy) and social interaction quite quickly.




  • tag
  • Animal research,

  • medical testing