Video: Chimpanzee Linda embraces another chimpanzee for the first time!

Linda hand in hand with Julio
Linda (right) hand in hand with Julio

After 30 years of solitary confinement, contact at last

For the first time in a very long time, chimpanzee Linda was able to embrace another chimpanzee. A very special moment after 30 years having been locked up in a shed, alone and lonely. From her enclosure at AAP Rescue Centre for Exotic Animals, Linda had already seen her congener Julio through the mesh, but was not able to have direct contact with him. What happened when the hatch finally opened was most special: a moment AAP could only have dreamed of. Julio crawled right through the hatch and took Linda's outstretched hand. A hug followed and later they played together. Later on the old Jim was added to the duo. In the beginning Linda was quite restrained with him but after a while they got along. Director David van Gennep: "This is something special. We have been worried about Linda in recent months. The damage that the loneliness had done to her was deeper than previously thought. It was therefore difficult to estimate in advance how the first meeting would go. This successful encounter is a wonderful development." Throughout her long confinement Linda never lived with other chimps. She is therefore not aware of the correct social skills. In the course of time she will have to develop those skills with the help of her peers. Linda has no idea that Julio, as leader of the group, is the first one allowed to eat. When they are fed Linda starts to eat directly. She still has a long way to go, but chimpanzees are never too old to learn.

The friendship between Linda, Julio and Jim is a successful first step. Linda will soon get to know the other group members, Regina and Fiffy. When Linda is used to all chimpanzees separately, AAP will try to place Linda together with the group. After thirty years she will then be able to finally enjoy a beautiful, old age.

About Linda

Last September chimpanzee Linda was rescued from Lanzarote (Spain) by AAP. She was snatched from her mother as a baby, forced to pose on photographs with tourists and then locked in a shed for 30 years. Linda was rescued by AAP and has now started her rehabilitation process.

AAP Rescue Centre for Exotic Animals AAP is an independent organization that is committed to a better future for apes, monkeys and other exotic mammals. Unfortunately many animals find themselves in distressing situations. They are being traded illegally, kept as household pets or abused in tourism and entertainment. AAP tackles this problem at its roots and does so across Europe. We provide education and information and lobby for better legislation for the protection of animals. We call this ‘fighting a winning battle’.