Where seven chimps are living out their post-lab days

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GWEN IFILL:  Now a “NewsHour” Shares, something that caught our eye that we thought might be of interest to you.

A town in Washington state is home to a group of seven former lab chimpanzees who have been given a second chance to live out their lives in the rural pastures of Cle Elum, where they are honorary citizens.

The story comes to us from PBS station KCTS in Seattle.

JB MULCAHY, Co-Director, Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW:  Diana and I have been here a couple months prior to the chimps’ arrival.  Now it’s been a little over eight years that we have been with the chimps.

DIANA GOODRICH, Co-Director, Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW:  So they are honorary citizens of Cle Elum and are known throughout the world as the Cle Elum 7.

Annie is a really sweet, sweet chimp.  And she’s best friends with Missy.  She just adores Missy.

Burrito is super goofy, really charming.  Our Facebook followers of Cle Elum are just totally in love with Burrito.

JB MULCAHY:  Negra is the oldest of the group, about to turn 43.

Foxie is known around the world now for her level of troll dolls, because she probably has about 400 dolls.

DIANA GOODRICH:  Jody, we call the manager.  She is like watching out for everybody.

Jamie is the boss of the group.  She also really likes Instagram.

This area is what called Young’s Hill.  It’s an open enclosure, so it was the first time the chimps ever were outside without something over their heads, so they could actually see the sky.  And some of them, it was the first time they had actually ever stepped on grass probably in their entire lives, because many of the chimps were born in captivity.

J.B. MULCAHY:  We never go into the enclosure with the chimps.  Aggression is a normal part of chimpanzees’ life.

And so it’s just not safe.  But also we want to respect their space, since they are territorial.  And so we want, as much as we can, to respect that boundary and let them be chimps.

GWEN IFILL:  Chimps.

And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight.

In our NewsHour Shares series, we show you things that caught our eye recently on the web. What about you? Leave your suggestions in the comments below, or tweet to @NewsHour using #NewsHourShares. We might share it on air.

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