Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild


16 September 2014

Categories: Homepage News, Primates Campaign News, Rescue News

© Zambia Primate Project

© Zambia Primate Project

© Zambia Primate Project

Warning, some people may find the images distressing

Read news on the latest life-saving rescues undertaken by the Born Free funded Zambia Primate Project. Cosmas, who leads the project on the ground, is now fully mobile again thanks to the deployment of one of our Land Rovers from Born Free Kenya.  When Cosmas turns up to rescue an animal – he rarely goes away empty handed – but it’s not straight forward.  Literally cutting the ropes away, that are often embedded in the animal’s stomach, Cosmas takes the rescued individuals into his care and starts them on their long journey to health and freedom.  While Cosmas remains amazed at the resilience of these animals, we all remain amazed at Cosmas – you could not meet a gentler person, but don’t stand in his way if there’s an animal in distress.

Zambia Primate Project (ZPP) has had a very busy week reports Dr Cheryl Mvula. Acting upon intelligence received from its national network of informers it has successfully rescued 1 yellow baboon and 5 vervet monkeys from the illegal pet trade. For 9 month old baboon Bobbo, the rescue went very well with his 'owner' handing him over willingly. Bobbo was in good health apart from a little bruising around the eyes.

The situation with the 5 vervet monkeys was very different, however, and in common with the majority of ZPP rescues these turned out to be tricky confiscations with the various 'owners' reluctant to give these primates up. A male and female vervet, along with a tiny baby, were rescued together from a zoo in the Copperbelt. The adult monkeys were found restrained on 1 meter long chains secured around their waists, and were confiscated on the spot. ZPP will now work with Zambia Wildlife Authority to ensure that this zoo in Baluba does not keep wild animals in such dire captive conditions in the future.

The final confiscation of the 2 monkeys Boss and Mary from a village near Kalalushi was particularly harrowing. The ropes that tethered them so tightly had become embedded into their flesh. ZPP Project Manager, Cosmas Mumba, who led the rescues said "The suffering that these primates endured was horrendous. With no vets for many miles, I removed the ropes from around their waists using the blade of a knife as a saw and treated their wounds. How people can treat such sentient creatures with such cruelty begs belief. I am always amazed, however, how resilient these primates are, and I am confident that in our care they will make a full recovery. For these 6 primates at least they now have a brighter future free from suffering as we prepare them for release back to the wild". 

For every primate ZPP rescues there are many more held captive illegally in Zambia as pets in appalling conditions. ZPP and Cosmas are committed to follow up every lead they receive of primates in need but with finite resources to pay for the fuel needed to mount rescues they sometimes arrive too late. On this confiscation 3 primates in need of rescue had died or been eaten before ZPP reached them. 

If you would like to help ZPP reach more primates in need, you can donate here.  

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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