Marcelino is calling to her, but Cecilia cannot be with him. Not yet. He may be handsome, but she has suffered a lot and isn’t ready for a relationship.
This is not a soap opera. It is just the way things go in a Brazilian refuge for abused and depressed chimpanzees.
Cecilia, 20, sits on a rooftop and gazes wistfully around – perhaps remembering her childhood spent in a cramped zoo, or her two friends who died there.
Luckily she is now in the best place to have her depression treated: the Sorocaba Great Primates Sanctuary in Sao Paulo.
She is alone in her enclosure but with toys and plenty of space it beats being in a zoo. Her carers say she is slowly getting better.
Cecilia came to Sorocaba four months ago from Mendoza in Argentina, after making legal history in a case brought by animal rights groups. The judge ruled that Cecilia was being held in unsuitable conditions at the Mendoza zoo and should be transferred to Sorocaba. In her ruling, the judge defined Cecilia as “a nonhuman subject of law”. Though she is a chimp, the law applied to her as it would to a person.