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Chimpanzees share 90 percent of the same DNA with human-beings. Chimps are incredibly social, empathetic and intelligent, and yet, humans subject these primates to life in a research lab or the entertainment industry. Rather than viewing chimpanzees for the dynamic individuals they are, some humans see them as props and objects to be exploited for their own gains. Most of these chimps are captured from the wild, separated from their families at a young age and forced into a life they neither understand nor enjoy (understandably).
Disregarding all evidence that points to the fact that these creatures should be privy to the same rights and allowances humans are, chimpanzees are sentenced to lives in cages being injected with viruses and fitted with electric probes. To think of doing this to a human against their will would be unheard of, but, since chimpanzees cannot speak up for themselves, their plight is largely ignored.
This does not mean, however, that every human is deaf to the pleas of the chimpanzee. In fact, there are many compassionate individuals who have devoted their lives to making sure chimpanzees are given the happy lives they deserve. A cluster of these amazing people can be found at Seattle’s Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. This particular sanctuary specializes in caring for chimps who have been “discarded” from the biomedical research and entertainment industries.
Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest gives chimps a chance to live in the company of other chimpanzees and enjoy the simple things in life – like munching on some delicious vegetables! These retired chimps finally have the freedom to kick back and experience what it means to be a chimpanzee. Of course, as with any human, discovering what it means to be yourself involves trying lots of new things … for these chimpanzees, yoga is the number one stop on their road to self-discovery! What better way to find your true, inner-self than establishing your zen. Let’s see if these chimps have made it to enlightenment.
Annie’s quest to Nirvana is underway!
This pose works WONDERS on carpel tunnel.
Missy has become a veritable yogi!
Be present, breathe, and anything is possible!
In the words of Yogi Bhajan: “When ego is lost, limit is lost. You become infinite, kind, and beautiful.”
With enough yoga practice, you can discover muscles you never even knew you had!
Annie is really making progress in self-discovery!
Good relaxation time is never to be overlooked. When you work hard, you deserve a nice long rest!
Foxie’s Wisdom: “Where you are, be all there!”
Trying new things is the key to personal growth, even if these things don’t work out.
Take a lesson from Queen Negra: “Don’t hate, meditate!”
All image source: Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest