Playful and mischievous four-year-old Arden spent the first years of her life locked inside a research laboratory, where, as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) reports, “painful tests were performed on animals.”

She was housed at the New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) in Lafayette, La. – once the largest chimpanzee laboratory in the world.

It was here, back in 2008, that the HSUS conducted a nine-month long undercover investigation at the NIRC. What it revealed was heartbreaking.

HSUS investigators found that “ inhumane mistreatment” of the captive primates was common, even “routine” – with some leaving their anxiety-riddled lab experiences “screaming” and later “throwing themselves against their cages, and … tearing large gashes into their own arms and legs.”

Thankfully, in 2012, Arden, along with 109 other chimps, received respite from these cruel conditions when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) deemed them “permanently ineligible” for research – a decision prompted in part by the HSUS’s investigation.

As of August 2013, all 110 chimps have been moved out of the NIRC, and retired to Chimp Haven Sanctuary in Keithville, La! Woohoo! What a grand success!

Since becoming one of the first NIRC chimps transferred to Chimp Haven, sweet Arden has been enjoying her life like never before with her mother now by her side.

See Arden “live as a chimpanzee should” at Chimp Haven Sanctuary in the HSUS’s new video below! How beautiful it is to see her happy!

Image source: Humane Society of the United States / Facebook