Established by and with on-going support from Born Free, Zambia Primate Project (ZPP) is one of Africa’s most established and successful primate release programmes. Its mission is to rescue and rehabilitate injured, orphaned and illegally held vervet monkeys and yellow baboons for release back to the wild. Primate survival rate six months post release currently averages a remarkable 95%.
The great majority of primates that ZPP rescues are victims of the growing bushmeat trade in Zambia. The mothers are slaughtered 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 and tormented and harassed by people and village dogs. Others are found injured in poachers’ wire snares or stoned when they come into conflict with local communities.