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For Immediate Release: 06/17/10

Orphan chimps could head for Rainbow Nation with your help!

Two Chimpanzees Confiscated from Dealers Await Flight to Freedom

Two young orphan chimpanzees, recently confiscated from unscrupulous animal dealers in the Central Africa Republic (CAR), could be on their way to a Sanctuary in South Africa – if funds can be found right away!

CAR lacks adequate long-term care facilities for these two endangered animals (named Fabio and Roo) whose lives were in peril before they were seized in a government operation undertaken with technical support provided by RALF, a specialist law enforcement initiative established by our partners at the Last Great Ape organisation (LAGA) and WWF.

Their rescue and relocation is being assisted by The Born Free Foundation (UK) and Born Free USA.

“It seems that one of the chimps was apprehended when a policeman and a Forestry Ministry agent attempted to sell the animal using an illegal document. Court proceedings are being arranged. The ‘owner’ of the second orphan chimp threatened the arresting officers with physical violence and has yet to be apprehended.” said Will Travers of the Born Free.

Rescued chimpanzees need specialist care – something that is simply not available in the Central African Republic – but a suitable home has been offered at the Jane Goodall Institute’s Chimpanzee Eden Centre, located on a 1,000 hectare Wildlife Sanctuary outside of Nelspruit, the capital of Mpumalanga (330km east of Johannesburg).

“The centre has everything ‘Fabio’ and ‘Roo’ need to be able to live a meaningful and worthwhile life, but we need to find the $5,000 (£3,750) to get them there” explained Travers. “Not only is this the right move for these little chimpanzees, but such a show of international support will encourage the authorities in CAR to continue taking resolute action to crack down on illegal trade in endangered wildlife.”

Please help if you possibly can by making a donation »

Donations can also be made by mailing to Born Free USA; PO Box 32160, Washington, DC 20007 (please write CAR Orphan Chimps on the back of your check

**Should we reach our target of $5,530, all additional funds will be used by Born Free for primate rescue, care conservation.

Photos 1 & 2: Operation on 15th March. Chimp seized from a Policeman and an Officer from the Dept of Water and Forests (the latter is pictured). They presented a certificate issued by the BAMBARI Dept Director, even though according to the law such a document can only be issued by the Minister.

Photo 3: Operation on 10th March. A chimpanzee was confiscated from the hands of a soldier. A few hours later, the prosecutor frees it and gives the animal back to him.

Photo 4: Josias at WWF-RCA with the chimp confiscated on 15th March

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Contact:
Adam M. Roberts
Executive Vice President
Born Free USA
PO Box 32160
Washington, DC 20007
202-445-3572

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