Close up of a vervet monnkey with black face framed with white fur, and grey fur on the top of its head

Zambia Primate Project



Zambia Primate Project (ZPP) was originally set up in 2009 as a Born Free project operating in Kafue National Park. Its mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and release back to the wild orphaned and injured vervet monkeys and baboons that are victims of the illegal wildlife trade or injured due to human intervention.

Over time and with support, ZPP evolved into a wholly Zambian-owned and registered not-for-profit animal welfare organisation, with Born Free continuing to provide technical input and expertise to its work. In 2023 ZPP joined Game Rangers International (GRI) as one of their Wildlife Rescue Programs. GRI’s holistic approach to wildlife conservation aims to support all wildlife and the communities living alongside wildlife to coexist and, in the ideal, benefit one another.

The great majority of primates that ZPP rescues are victims of the growing wildlife trade in Zambia. The mothers are killed for their meat, and their babies sold into the illegal pet trade. As the babies grow and develop sharp canine teeth, they are held captive using short, tight ropes tied around their waists, often tormented and harassed by people and village dogs.

ZPP team members have been involved in the rescue and release of hundreds of primates in Zambia*. The survival rate of the primates released currently averages between 85% and 100% at 12 months post-release, making ZPP one of, if not the, most successful primate release projects in the world.

The GRI – Zambia Primate Project operates in partnership with Born Free, Olsen Animal Trust and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife.

* This includes primates rescued and released when ZPP team members were part of the Born Free-funded Lunga Lushwishi Wildlife Project which operated in Zambia from 2002 to 2009.

Visit the Zambia Primate Project website