Great Ape Project – GAP is a international movement created in 1994. The main purpose is to guarantee the basic rights to life, freedom and non-torture of the non-human great apes – Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Orangutans and Bonobos, our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. For that, the project created the World Declaration on Great Primates, document that turns these rights official.
GAP was the result of ideas developed on a book that has the same name, written by philosophers Paola Cavalieri and Peter Singer, who is considered to be one of the fathers of the animal defense and rights movement in the world. In the book, the authors and other renowned specialists, like british primatologist Jane Goodall, explain that human beings and great primates share important characteristics, like social organization, communications and strong affectionate bonds among the individuals, which demonstrates that they are intelligent and, consequently, that they should have similar rights to ours.
Currently GAP has representations on many countries, among them Brazil. Here the first ideas were put in practice in 2000 at Sorocaba city, countryside of São Paulo state. A three-month old orfan chimpanzee was adopted and raised as a human by microbiologist Pedro Ynterian, who established the first Brazilian sanctuary for chimpanzees. The “baby” was named Guga (see more on “Our Guests”) and aroused the interest for rescue and close treatment of chimpanzees victims of mistreating in the country, which was the start of GAP Brazil’s activities.
Since 2006, GAP Brazil is officially represented by NGO GAP Project – Support Group for Primates. On 2008, Brazil has four sanctuaries affiliated and aligned with GAP’s ideas that rehome 71 chimpanzees, the majority rescued and recovered after being mistreated at circus or living under inadequate conditions in zoos.