08/11/2010 02:04 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Chimp Sanctuary: Pedro Ynterian Rehabilitates Abused Circus Apes In Brazil (VIDEO)

In this video, Reuters reports on a chimp sanctuary in Brazil, where abused apes from circuses and illegal zoos are getting a second chance at a healthy and happy life.

Biologist and activist Pedro Ynterian founded the sanctuary near Sao Paulo to rehabilitate chimps that have spent years in front of public audiences, and he uses his own money to fund the facility, which is home to 50 chimps.

"Sometimes I make a joke saying that this place is not a sanctuary but a mental hospital because I'm dealing with mad creatures," he says, listing the symptoms of mental illnesses that the creatures display, from eating excrement to injuring themselves.

Since 2005, almost half of Brazil's states have passed legislation forbidding zoos from using great apes and other animals in their shows, Reuters reports. Congress is now debating a federal bill that would mandate that action across the nation.

Ynterian hopes Brazil can become an international role model for animal rights: "We can become and create an example for the world of what needs to be done with these creatures."