Chimp who spent entire life inside indoor lab 'in awe' after seeing open sky for the first time

Vanilla was a survivor of a now-closed research lab in New York where chimpanzees were kept in small cages.

Vanilla, the 28-year-old chimpanzee was finally introduced to an open sky for the first time in her life on June 27.

Never being outside her entire life and stuck in a small lab cage the size of a small garage sounds like absolute torture for most people, but for Vanilla, it was all she knew. 

Footage posted by a privately funded sanctuary known as Save the Chimps, shows the moments Vanilla was "in awe" as she saw the open sky for the first time.

After taking in the rays of the sun and the breeze on her fur and the feeling of fresh grass, Vanilla can be seen being greeted by the group of chimps currently residing in the sanctuary. 

According to the organization, Vanilla was a survivor of a now-closed research lab in New York where chimpanzees were kept in small cages.

She was then transferred to a sanctuary in California where she lived "inside a chain-link fence cage with no grass and very little enrichment.

"She had never been outside of a lab cage or the garage-sized enclosure she was transferred to in California," Save the Chimps said.

"Vanilla is settling in very well," the group said in a statement. "When she’s not exploring the island with her friends she can usually be found perched atop a three-story climbing platform surveying her new world.

"She gets along with all of the other 18 chimps on her island, and has a particularly playful relationship with the alpha male Dwight, from whom she steals food," they added.

Storyful contributed to this story.