Can you feel it? It’s like a magical burst of happiness floating in the air: sunshine! Yes, after what seemed like a winter that would NEVER end, we’re seeing some pretty strong signs that spring may, in fact, be here. It’s time again to crawl out of our winter hiding places and soak up some of those glorious rays.

Of course, we humans aren’t the only creatures who are overjoyed to welcome the warm weather; many members of the animal kingdom are also pumped to get their vitamin D fix. Especially the ones who have not been deprived of the light because they were burrowed in hibernation, but sadly, because they have spent the majority of their lives in captivity. Tragically, this was the case for Burrito the chimpanzee.


Born in a research lab, Burrito’s start in life was traumatizing, to say the least. As a baby, Burrito was taken from his family (who were also research chimps) and used for hepatitis B vaccine safety trials. When he reached the age of three, he was sent to live as a “house chimp” at the Buckshire Corporation in Pennsylvania where he resided until he was five. During this time, the young chimp was frequently leased out to perform in an animal act with “Jungle Larry.” The next 20 years of Burritos life are completely undocumented and likely, in this poor chimp’s mind, worth forgetting. However, Burrito’s fate changed when he was rescued by Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest (CSNW).  

For the first time in his life, Burrito is allowed to be a chimp and enjoy the wonderful parts of life, like getting to bask in the sunshine. 

If that smile doesn’t make you all warm and fuzzy, we don’t know what will.

There is nothing like the feeling of warm sunshine and knowing that you’re finally free to enjoy it.

We just can’t understand how you can see this face and not realize how similar animals are to humans. 

When Burrito noticed his caretakers snapping pictures of his sunbathing, this was his reaction. 

Nothing to see here! Just a chimp being a chimp. Thank you CSNW for saving this happy guy.


All image source: Chimp Sanctuary North West