Undercover investigations over the past 10 years have
unearthed an insidious great ape criminal trafficking network. Great apes are
in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
(CITES), which means that their trade for commercial purposes is strictly
prohibited. But the UN estimates almost 3,000 great apes – our closest living
evolutionary relatives – are lost every year in trafficking occurrences, as
several are killed for every infant captured.
Great apes – chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans –
are in great demand in Middle Eastern and East Asian safari parks, zoos and the
private menageries of Russian oligarchs and criminal kingpins. They are
money-makers for the owners of the parks as a fee-paying public flocks to watch
them perform in demeaning skits, wearing colourful costumes while riding
bicycles or playing drums. After the show they are locked up in dark, barren
cages to await the next performance. Imagine your child or little brother or
sister in such a situation. Great apes experience very similar emotions to
humans, so they suffer greatly in this cruel slavery condition.
Most shocking is the fact that corrupt national CITES
officials in several countries are deeply involved in the trafficking. They
doctor fraudulent CITES permits and sell them to traffickers, who use them over
and over to export the apes, usually infant orphans whose mothers have been
killed for bush meat. Hunters go into the forest with shotguns and ruthlessly
blast the adult apes and capture the traumatized infants. Let the CITES
Secretariat know that this has to stop, with the Secretariat urging its member
states to adhere to Article VIII of the convention: to confiscate the illegally
imported apes, prosecute the dealers and corrupt national CITES officials and
if possible repatriate the apes back to Africa.
Please sign the petition now.
END GREAT APE SLAVERY! #slaveapes