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Nemley Jr.’s Life Was Saved in a Daring Raid. Why Did He Die Just a Few Months Later?

Posted in 11/07/2017


(BBC/PASA)

Dear friends,

I wrote to you a few months ago about Nemley Jr., a baby chimpanzee in Ivory Coast. After being confiscated from an international smuggling ring because of the BBC’s undercover operation, he was sent to a dilapidated, underfunded city zoo. The zoo still hasn’t fully recovered from a devastating civil war when dozens of animals in its care died of starvation, and its chimp enclosure is crumblingWhen I sent that email to you, PASA was working with the BBC to try to convince the government to let Nemley Jr. go to a PASA member wildlife center where he would get excellent lifelong care. Sadly, the government refused – according to the BBC, they said that because he had been confiscated in Ivory Coast, he “belonged to Ivory Coast.”

The men who were arrested in possession of Nemley Jr. had also smuggled countless other endangered animals who were stolen from African forests. A few weeks ago, they were found guilty of trafficking, but received sentences of only six months in prison. Because they had already been in prison for longer than that since they were arrested in December, they were allowed to walk free as soon as they were sentenced.

Rescue Becomes Tragedy

It’s really hard for me to tell you that Nemley Jr. died a few days ago. At the zoo, he suffered from illness after illness, including malaria. Without the care of his birth mother or the dedicated attention of well-trained sanctuary staff, his body gave in.

I keep asking myself if we could have done more for Nemley Jr., and if we could have found a way to convince the Ivorian government.

Perhaps a more important question is how can we do more for the next baby chimpanzee who’s confiscated from smugglers. Together, we can do more.

Please pledge a monthly donation and give ongoing support that PASA – and the animals – can depend on.

The illegal wildlife trade is booming. Across Africa, infant chimpanzees, gorillas, and other endangered species are confiscated from wildlife traffickers and bushmeat hunters. Some are doomed to live in small cages in decrepit city zoos in Africa. Others seem to disappear, presumably sold back into the illegal wildlife trade by the people tasked with protecting them.

The lucky ones are brought to PASA’s 22 member sanctuaries in 13 African countries, where they receive excellent medical treatment, live in spacious habitats, and have a chance of being released to the wild.

We need more resources to ensure confiscated animals get to sanctuaries, and to send them as soon as possible – before it’s too late.

A lot of time and money is needed to arrange government approvals, permits, and transportation for confiscated apes.

You can make it possible – simply click here now and donate monthly. We can’t do it without you.

Very best wishes,

Gregg Tully

Executive Director

Pan African Sanctuary Alliance

More informationWatch a 3-minute BBC video about Nemley Jr.’s rescue and the shocking scale of the chimpanzee trafficking industry.