The first 48 hours of Jimmy
Jimmy arrived during the night and from the transport box he passed to an aerial tunnel that took him to his enclosure. He was still under some effects of anesthetics, which were necessary to put him into the box, and walked with some difficulty. In the morning he was much better. In his first day at the sanctuary, the place received a lot of people from the press and he was still a bit scared. At 10 am in the following day, we opened the door for the external area of his enclosure. For the first time Jimmy put his feet on the grass, and maybe this was the first time of all his life. He walked slowly and walked all over the three thousand square meters of his enclosure, which has two closed areas and tall platforms so he can lie down.
For his look we knew he as not believing he was able to leave the miserable cage he lived for more than 10 years and was in a decent home, which allows him to run, play, jump and do all the proper exercises for his species. Quickly he realized that there was company in the enclosure beside his, maybe also the first time of his life he was seeing closely a young chimpanzee – in this case Samantha, and his daughter, Sofia, 2 years old, who could not wait to meet him.
In the first 24 hours Jimmy walked a lot. He must have run through the three square meters area more than ten times, maybe the distance he used to walk in circles for a year in his old cage. In the afternoon his appetite had come back and he ate fruits, yogurts and juices. He was already starting to believe that was not a dream, as many that did not come true during his suffered life.
In the following day, had spenting 48 hours in the sanctuary, Jimmy ran for the first time, maybe also the first time he was able to run in some place. He went to the window and gave his neighbor, Sofia, a kiss, who turned her back to him, which is a sign of friendship. He started to develop a quick and extraordinary curiosity towards his neighbors. He entered the enclosure and asked me to open the door, so he could join them. But this is not possible at the moment, because the approximation procedure will take some time, until we are sure it is safe and the mental disturb acquired in the zoo will not impact his relationship with other chimpanzees. We are praying that everything goes well, because Jimmy needs the company of other chimpanzee so he won’t get crazy for the rest of his life.
Tem years ago, Dr, Miguel Vaudano, from GAP Project, entered at Zoonit and took the first photos of that scaring place. With the collaboration of environmentalist Andrea Lambert, we had access to the documents of the arrival of animals in the zoo and quickly we came to the conclusion that something wrong was happening. A lot of rescued animals used to enter and later on just disappeared. We made the denunciation to Ibama, and also of mistreating of animals. Ten years later Justice was made. Zoonit was closed; Jimmy and his companions are now able to enjoy a new life. The report we received from one of the inspectors of Ibama who cooperate in the rescue and transference operation in a clear and real statement of what was happening there, in front of the eyes of a society that was ignoring the facts and continued to visit the place not realizing that innocent beings were being tortured – just like it happens in most of Brazilian and international zoos. No one rebelled or asked to put an end in that stupidity.
Dr. Pedro A. Ynterian
President, GAP Project International