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UK registered charity number 1076645

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“WELCOME TO  WALES APE &  MONKEY  SANCTUARY”

Great Ape Project – GAP is an international movement created in 1994. The main purpose is to guarantee the basic rights to life, freedom and non-torture of the non-human great apes – Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Orangutans and Bonobos, our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. For that, the project created the World Declaration on Great Primates, document that turns these rights official.


Today the International Great Ape Project, consisting of independent institutions in Brazil, Chile, Córd d'Ivoire, Germany, Mexico, Spain and Uruguay, has a new and therefore eighth national chapter: United Kingdom.


The Wales Ape & Monkey Sanctuary (WAMS) has joined the Great Ape Project as a separate UK section.

This is especially important for the German and Spanish GAP-chapters, as there has been no primate research on the GAP in Europe. WAMS is now official GAP-Sanctuary Europe, which gives us the possibility to exert a much greater pressure on zoos and circuses, to give up primates from bad habitats. In addition, we have a much better position in dealing with veterinary authorities when it comes to the official seizure of primates. Until now, both zoo and circus operators as well as the respective competent authorities were able to reject our claims, even in the case of clearest violations of the animal welfare law. There was simply no suitable place where the animals could have been permanently rehomed.


WAMS has all the necessary licenses to import primates from abroad to the United Kingdom and to keep them permanently. In contrast to the three other centers for primates in Europe, the WAMS pursues a strict no-way-back-to-a-zoo philosophy. The three other "Sanctuaries", on the other hand, cooperate closely with zoos and, where appropriate, return their animals or seized animals. One of these "Sanctuaries" is even engaged in breeding programs for zoos.


WAMS is personally known to us: some time ago we were involved in the transfer of two chimpanzees from the Zoo Delbrück to Wales

(see: https://www.greatapeproject.de/delbrck/ ). The founders and trustees of WAMS - Jan and Graham Garen and their dedicated team - have been working very reliably, professionally, and in full compliance with the principles of the GAP.


Please welcome the new GAP Chapter


www.greatapeproject.uk
www.gapsanctuaryeurope.uk

We have joined the Great Ape Project

Bili the Bonobo at Wuppertal Zoo February 2019


Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary wishes to make a number of points concerning the welfare of Bili, and the prospects for a pain-free, fear-free, happy living environment for him.


It should be stated at the outset that Bili’s welfare is our only concern, which we hope is also the case for all parties involved in his welfare. This is not a matter of egos, policies, profit or of programmes. All that matters is making Bili's life not only tolerable, but a happy and healthy one. 


Some weeks ago, Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary was asked by various concerned animal welfare activists if we could, and would be prepared to, provide a home – a sanctuary – for Bili, after his distress and suffering was made public. No-one else has apparently responded to this plea for help, but as the GAP Sanctuary Europe we had, and have, a responsibility to respond to the call.


Our aim has never been to ‘demand’ that Bili moves to a safe haven at Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary, rather that we are prepared, and happy, to provide Bili with sanctuary, and to give him the quality of life that he deserves. Founder and trustee of Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary, Graham Garen, informed Wuppertal Zoo’s press officer of this at a brief meeting recently, so that this point would be completely clear.


Demonstration outside Wuppertal on Feb 10th



Millions of people have been moved by the sight of Bili being beaten, bitten and mauled by his fellow apes in the enclosure at the zoo. There have been heart-breaking images of his injuries and of his exhausted and hopeless demeanour, and people have been moved to tears by a video of him being attacked by a whole group of his fellow apes, without intervention from the zoo's staff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0piq4k_pK0&fbclid=IwAR0TX8bJGSzIgfDJrWE8P8c-61yoAIbZmnq0UEDEmJTFuhC8mcn05vspOz0



Subsequently hundreds of thousands of animal lovers across Europe and beyond have taken to social media, engaged in direct contact and direct action to try and ensure that Bili's life is happy, and free from pain and fear. 




Clearly, from even the most recent videos and reports, his integration is not proving to be a success, and our concern is that Bili continues to be attacked and injured. It is also clear that many hundreds of thousands of people feel a continuing and growing outrage at the conditions that he is being kept in.


Our view is that Wuppertal Zoo is not adequately designed to be able to give Bili the space that he needs in order to effect a proper integration into his group – he has not been able to, as he would in the wild, escape, with the results that millions of people have now seen and been distressed and angered by.


At Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary, we have a strict protocol which we observe for ALL integrations and socialisations. This integration has to evolve over a period of time, and anyone who understands primate behaviour would know that this is the safe way to do it.


We are happy to offer Bili an alternative if he cannot be successfully integrated in a timely manner - a home at Wales Ape And Monkey Sanctuary. At WAMS, he - like our other animals - would become part of our extended family, who live here in freedom and friendship, because we love them. We are a registered charity, not state-funded, who are not only experts in our field, but compassionate people, whose goal in life is a to give a loving home to those creatures that most need it.


Our animals are not exhibits, tourist attractions, profit centres, etc - their welfare comes before the development of tourist facilities and our motives are care and compassion. We are a sanctuary, with all that the name implies, and not a zoo. 



Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary would like to ask Wuppertal Zoo when they last had a full inspection bv Zoo Inspectors. Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary’s last inspection took place at the end of July 2018, which resulted in an excellent report. Our Zoo Inspector’s reports are extremely due to our position as a Sanctuary. All Sanctuaries in the UK with exotic species, if they are open to the public, require a Zoo Licence  - this does not make them a zoo but it ensures that high standards are being met.

 

We would now like to bring to your attention several inaccuracies which appear to have originated with Wuppertal Zoo and/or EAZA. We assume that these inaccuracies were errors and not intended to denigrate or question the expertise of Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary, so welcome the opportunity to correct these errors. We would also like to take this opportunity to respond publicly to ‘concerns’ which were raised by the same organisations, after we had responded positively to the call to help Bili.





















  1. We have no bonobos. Neither do we have any animal leading a sad, lonely miserable life. What we do have are happy animals with many successful integrations including interspecies.

  2. Knowing that male bonobos require the protection of their mothers, why does Wuppertal Zoo place Bili in a dangerous and vulnerable situation? It is not normal to see a primate cowering in fear and covered in bites. This would not happen under our protection. The key to good animal welfare, taking into account the five freedoms, is to recognise when relationships are not going to work and then to correct it immediately. Wuppertal Zoo and EEP were aware of the problem of male bonobos without maternal protection and still they went ahead with placing a lone 10-year-old male into an established group.

  3. Wuppertal and EEP are between them responsible for this appalling situation and EEP should be able to locate another partner for Bili who may be facing similar problems.

  4. We do not have to justify our expertise – it is evident. We, as a registered charity, have a moral obligation to offer help if we can to any captive primate in danger. It is written into our articles. It should also be noted that Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary are not the ones who have placed Bili in this situation of being the subject of uncontrolled attacks.

  5. Zoos have enough money to have started another group in new accommodation, if the willingness and/or expertise is there.

With apes alone, Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary has successfully integrated nine times without aggression and bullying, in addition to the two brothers - who fought constantly in their zoo – being completely peaceful after they came to us.


We have never said that Bili would be kept at Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary in isolation for his whole life. Neither did we say that he would be kept with spider monkeys. These allegations are clear misrepresentations of the truth by Wuppertal and EAZA. Instead of attacking the experience,  integrity and expertise of Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary, we feel that effort would be better expended in helping Bili, as – to restate our position – this is the only thing that should matter in this case. We hope that Wuppertal Zoo and EAZA agree,


The Great Ape Project – GAP - is an international movement created in 1994. The main purpose is to guarantee the basic rights to life, freedom and non-torture of the non-human great apes – Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Orangutans and Bonobos. For that, the project created the World Declaration on Great Primates, document that makes these rights official.


Wales Ape & Monkey Sanctuary has joined the Great Ape Project as a separate UK section. This is especially important for the German and Spanish GAP-chapters, as there has been no primate research on the GAP in Europe. Wales Ape & Monkey Sanctuary is now official GAP-Sanctuary Europe, which gives us the possibility to exert a much greater pressure on zoos and circuses, to give up primates from bad habitats.


In addition, we have a much better position in dealing with veterinary authorities when it comes to the official seizure of primates. Until now, both zoo and circus operators as well as the respective competent authorities were able to reject our claims, even in the case of clearest violations of the animal welfare law. There was simply no suitable place where the animals could have been permanently rehomed.  Wales Ape & Monkey Sanctuary has all the necessary licenses to import primates from abroad to the United Kingdom and to keep them permanently. In contrast to the three other centres for primates in Europe, Wales Ape & Monkey Sanctuary pursues a strict no-way-back-to-a-zoo philosophy.


It has been reported that it was suggested by the Director of Wuppertal Zoo that if Bili’s integration continued to be unsuccessful, that ‘euthanasia’ might be an option. This is an abhorrent suggestion, cruel and unnecessary. We hope that the Director was quoted incorrectly, because to even consider this, particularly when there is a sanctuary ready to take him and care for him in a stress-free, kind environment for the rest of his life would be appalling and would be denounced not only by animal lovers, but decent people everywhere.


We reiterate that Bili’s welfare is the sole issue at stake, and we hope that all parties will endeavour to find a solution that is best for Bili, not because it is best for them.