Great Apes Sanctuary of Paraná/PR

The sanctuary is managed by Anami Conservationist Institute – and is located in Paraná, south of Brazil. It’s the most modern one among the Brazilian sanctuaries. It was founded by Czech Republic couple Milan and Anita Starostik, who owned a big industrial corporation in Paraná and had already a private conservation area, due to their interest for animal protection. After they had sold their company, the couple started to dedicate in personal to the great apes. The enclosures have modern heating systems and a lot of toys in big areas – the elastic bed is the favorite of the residents.




Male. DOB: 06/06/1996, born in a circus. He arrived at Anami Institute in 2007 and was integrated into a group with five other chimpanzees. André is small, happy, but a little scared, and, to solve his problems within the group, made an alliance with the alpha male (Biito), using the safety and support that the leader provides him. It is very common to see André calling others to play. It’s common to see him sit in his tower with legs crossed, resting and observing everything that is happening around him. He is very caring and has tender and penetrating eyes.


Male. DOB: 30/09/91. Biito worked in a circus until the age of five, where he was exploited to perform numbers like walking on stilts and riding bicycles. Since he did not obey the commands, he was frequently targeted by physical aggression. He spent the better part of his life in a cage in a dirty and dark truck trailer. Today, he is the alpha male of a group of six chimpanzees. His ally is André, who is continually interacting with him.


Male. DOB: 16/10/93. Caíque arrived at the Anami Institute on November 27, 2005. He was rescued from a circus, where he lived confined in a trailer without any care for well-being or hygiene. In this period, a number of the announcements were made to IBAMA (the Brazilian Environmental and Renewable Natural Resources Institute) for abandonment and mistreatment, through an NGO. When he was not performing in the circus, often, he was forced to take pictures with tourists in Paranaguá, on the coast of the state of Paraná. In 2005, the inspection agencies authorize Caíque’s transfer to the Anami Institute. He arrived with a thick chain around his neck. He was a young and strong male, but mistrustful and frightened. He was integrated into a large enclosure with three females. Little by little, the chain that he carried around his neck was removed using a handsaw and, together with it, that dark past was also going away. It did not take very long for him to realize that he was being cared for and protected, and to, every day, increasingly trust the Institute’s team, showing himself to be a calm and cooperative chimpanzee. Today, he lives very well in his enclosure with over 10,000 m² together with his chimpanzee friends Leila, Tota and Carol.


Female. DOB: 23/09/99. Carol reached Anami in 2004 together with her brother, Lucas. Later, they were integrated with two other chimpanzees – Johny and Matheus – forming a new group. Carol had no problem in adapting to the new home and, since the moment she arrived, she adapted very well, always interacting with the other members. Currently, Carol lives with Caíque, Leila and Tota. The four spend the better part of the day grooming (cleaning) each other. When bedtime comes, Carol chooses Caíque to share the room. During all these years, she has displayed a strong personality and intelligence to spare. She goes up on palm trees and picks jerivá nuts, and then shares them with her friends. When she does not like any fruit that comes on the tray, she doesn’t think twice before giving it to Tota.


Male. DOB: 2005, approximately, Africa. Charlie was captured in the wild when still very young. It is believed that he was taken from his mother by traffickers, being pulled by his legs, because he displays a physical condition called bilateral hip dislocation. This chronic scenario evolved to a significant atrophy of both pelvic members and difficulty in locomotion. Because of this, he walked using only his arms. Charlie spent his entire childhood in a precarious zoo in Lebanon in a very small enclosure, being forced to take pictures with visitors. After the announcements of mistreatment, he was rescued by an NGO who referred him to Anami. On July 11, 2014, after a three-day long trip, he arrived in Brazil very thin and malnourished. During the quarantine period – isolation time required by environmental agencies for any animal coming from outside the country – he was subjected to exams, such as x-rays where the dislocation was observed, in addition to shoulder arthritis due to the weight overload when “walking”. At Anami, he received veterinary treatment such as physiotherapy sessions for his legs. In 2015, he was already walking like a chimpanzee, using all four limbs. For having been very humanized and living in isolation from other chimpanzees for most of his life, he only accepts interacting with his caretakers. Charlie is very intelligent and calm.


Male. DOB: 04/05/2003. He arrived at the Anami on October 2005 weighing only 7.8 kg. He was very thin, undernourished and frightened. While living in the circus, Dino spent the better part of the day in a dark and very small cage, preventing his normal development. His muscles were atrophied and he showed signs of rickets. Before being integrated into the group of chimpanzees, Dino received physiotherapy sessions to reinforce his muscles and a balanced nutrition program. He responded very well to the treatment and was integrated with Lucas. Soon, a strong friendship was born. Today, Dino has a lot of energy and is, undoubtedly, the most active chimpanzee in the Institute. He interacts with everyone in the group, pushing monotony very far away.


Female. DOB: 1991, approximately, Israeli Primate Sanctuary Foundation – Israel. She lived for over 10 years in a precarious zoo in Tel Aviv. Through an international NGO, after a lot of negotiation, Judy was transferred to the Anami Institute on February 16, 2012. After the quarantine period, she was integrated with Omega – a Lebanese chimpanzee who, until then, lived alone. His euphoria was perceptible. The anxiety to be with her reflected in his behavior. On the first physical contact, the two hugged and acceptance was mutual. Today, the chimpanzee couple lives in a lot of harmony.


Female. DOB: 03/02/95, in captivity. She lived the better part of her childhood in a zoo in Lisbon, Portugal. In her teenage years, she was transferred to a zoo in Brazil and on May 25, 2010, Leila arrived at Anami together with Tota, her adoptive “mother”. She was extremely aggressive with everyone on the team, she hit the bars very strongly and did not accept the presence of human beings. As the years passed, she learned to trust her caretakers, perceiving they no longer represented any form of threat. Today, she lives with another three chimpanzees in harmony, interacts with everyone as if they had always been part of the group. When she is happy with any enriching item, she runs and hugs Tota and Caíque.


Male. DOB: 11/09/02, born in a circus. On March 31, 2004, Lucas arrived at the Anami Institute coming from a circus, where he was forced to perform circus shows, through mistreatment. He was soon integrated with Matheus and Carol, his siblings, who had been separated right after birth, but the reencounter was marked by a lot of celebration and playing. Lucas likes to be alone and is individualistic, despite being seen interacting with the others occasionally. It is common to see him making demonstrations of strength, in a standing up position, beating with a plastic bottle on his chest and making a lot of noise in attempted to frighten away anyone that intimidates him. Lucas is a strong and centered chimpanzee.


Female. DOB: 1981, born in a circus, where she lived until 2006. She arrived at the Anami Institute on February 12, 2007. Lucy is a very docile and very caring female with her children. During her time in the circus, she had some offsprings, but never had the opportunity to raise them, since they were taken away from her on the day they were born. With her arrival at Anami, this reality changed. Lucy was able to raise Noel, her youngest offspring. In addition to him, she currently lives with her two other offsprings, Lucas and Matheus, being the dominant female in the group of 7 chimpanzees. They all appreciate her company. Her offspring respect and obey her, in particular in moments of tension within the group. She is very intelligent, experienced and calm, as long as not bothered, but when this happens, she knows very well how to impose her authority.


Female. DOB: 24/09/93. She arrived at the Institute on February 15, 2007. She was morbidly obese and diabetic. She spent the best part of the day inactive and rarely came out to the external part of the enclosure to interact with other chimpanzees. She suffered from nutritional compulsion and, whenever possible, she stole food from the others, often causing serious confusion. She established a very strong link with Zezinho, with whom she lives today and shares a very healthy relationship. The two spend hours of the day sunbathing, grooming and walking, always together. Currently, she receives a balanced diet to address her needs, which was essential for her to lose weight and to control her diabetes. Today she is a healthy chimpanzee, active and willing.


Male. DOB: 03/08/01. On his arrival at his new home, in 2002, with just one year of age, Matheus was kept apart from the others for safety reasons since he was very young. However, on the day he was integrated the surprise was huge and, opposite to what was feared, the encounter resulted in strong hugs and positive interactions, indicating an extremely successful integration. Matheus, who exchanged the bars of a small and dirty circus cage, had the opportunity to grow and learn with the other chimpanzees, with this coexistence being essential for his social development. Today, he lives very well with his group and has a very high communication capability, including with the caretakers. He never hesitates to ask for more food when he is hungry. He has become a beautiful and robust chimpanzee, who is displaying that he may dispute a better role in the hierarchy of the group in which he lives.


Male. DOB: 1985, Israel. He lived in terrible conditions, in a very small cage in a private zoo in Israel. He was received in the Anami Institute on October 20, 2009, when he was 24 years old. He was very scared and dodged any sort of contact. Today, Mizrach lives in an enclosure of approximately 10,000 m². The outer area has structures in wood, bridges, a 10-meter tower and a pool, for him to be able to cool off and quench his thirst. He is always observing and interacting with his neighbor, Judy, a chimpanzee who lived in the same zoo as he did. Mizrachi likes to rest in his tower, but he also walks a lot and, every so often, is seen at the top of the coconut trees picking jerivá nuts. From there, he also observes the other groups and vocalizes a lot with the other chimpanzees.


Male. DOB: 21/10/07, Anami Institute. Fortunately, Noel could be raised by his mother at the Institute. When still very young, despite being breast-fed by her, he required nutritional supplement, since Lucy was not producing enough milk. Every day, with trust on the team, she handed him over to receive special care. After Noel gained weight, Lucy, alone, took care of him as a zealous mother, caring and teaching him everything that was necessary to live in the group. She breast-fed him until he was eight years old. Noel grew, got strong and today makes demonstrations of strength indicating that one day he may be in for the dispute in the hierarchy of the group. He is a sociable chimpanzee and interacts a lot, in particular with Dino and Yuri, his best friends.


Male. DOB: 1998, approximately, Africa. He was captured in the wild when he was young and was exploited by the owner of a restaurant that gave him cigarettes and force him to serve a hookah from table to table. In his teen years, he was transferred to a precarious zoo in Lebanon and lived there until 2010. Since he had the fame of being a smoking chimpanzee, the caretakers of the zoo and visitors use to throw him cigarettes. After several denouncements, he was rescued by an international NGO. On November 9, 2010, Omega’s life changed completely. He was received open armed at the Anami Institute. He had a suffering and suspicious countenance but, little by little, he gained trust and became a very cooperative and calm chimpanzee. Omega went through a period of cigarette withdrawal. All staff were expressly forbidden from smoking near him. Little by little, he adapted. Another challenge was to integrate him with another chimpanzee, in order to reduce the negative effects of the isolation. In 2012, Omega would leave loneliness behind and met Judy, his faithful companion until today.


Male. DOB: 27/07/95, born in a circus. He arrived at the Anami on February 12, 2007, coming from the circus where he was subjected to mistreatment. He was integrated into a group of chimpanzees coming from São Paulo and regularly disputes the leadership with the older male (Biito). Pedrinho has a strong personality and is always provoking the others in the group. With an unmatched agility, he shows himself to be a furtive male. Tina is his best friend and, in situations of conflict, he is the one who protects her.


Female. DOB: 20/02/92, zoo in Argentina. Punia, her companion Pweke and their daughter, Zuri, come from in Argentinian zoo. There, the family shared the enclosure with two other chimpanzees. However, when they were in the internal part of the enclosure, the other two were forced to remain on the outer part. Because of this handling difficulty and the impossibility of integrating the five individuals, Anami was asked to receive the three of them. They are the Institute’s most recent arrivals. She, as well as her companion and daughter, has adapted very well to her new home and the new routine. She is a present and protective mother, but serene. She spends hours grooming, a characteristic of all three members of the family.


Male. DOB: 28/11/92, zoo in the city of Basel, Switzerland. In 2002, he was transferred to a zoo in Argentina, where he lived until January 23, 2018, when he arrived at Anami together with his partner (Punia) and their daughter (Zuri). He is a protective male and, at the same time, slightly frightened, something common in newly arrived chimpanzees. He respects his companion Punia and loves to play with Zuri. The three live in perfect harmony and look after each other.


Female. DOB: 26/05/87. Tina arrived at the Institute together with Maria on February 15, 2007, very mistrustful and apprehensive. She carried traumas of 20 years of mistreatment in the circus. She never came down to the floor, did not leave her room and looked to all sides frightened by any noise. After some time receiving assistance and care, she started to gain trust. Currently, she lives with another five chimpanzees and has chosen Pedrinho as her roommate and to whom she resorts in times of conflict within the group. Her favorite hobby is to lie in the tower looking and observing everything. On cold days, she does not hesitate to carry her blankets to the external enclosure and cover herself completely, leaving only her head out.


Female. DOB: 1979, approximately, in a zoo in Lisbon. After some time in the Portuguese zoo, Tota was transferred to a Brazilian zoo, where she lived with a group of three individuals. She arrived at the Anami on May 25, 2010, and is the oldest chimpanzee in the Institute. She currently lives with Carol, Caíque and Leila, with whom she has a very intense maternal relationship. She does not seem to be her age. She is very active during the day and very methodical about times, in particular mealtimes. Every day she puts together her nest to rest and loves the fruit treats that are offered at the end of the afternoon. She always vocalizes as a gesture of gratitude.


Female. DOB: 2000, approximately, in the zoo Paraíso Perdido Park. In February 17, 2006, after a struggle of six months, the rescue was carried out and Vitória finally gained a new destination. After a trip that took over 36 hours, she arrived very scared. She was very mistrustful and distant, but slowly she began to trust the team and enjoy her new home, which offered many opportunities for long play times with the other chimpanzees. Today, she lives in a group of six individuals, having Lucy as her best friend, with whom she shared the tasks of raising Noel during all these years. She also takes care of Dino and protect him at moments of tension. When she wants food, she claps her hands. Vitória seems to have recovered from her prior life and overcome her traumas.


Male. DOB: 1996, approximately, in a circus. For many years, Yuri was exploited in a circus and forced into performing a dangerous number called the Death Globe. Together with 4 other human motorcyclists, he drove his motorcycle inside the Globe and was forced to wear motorcycling clothing, performing on an average of three shows a day. In his free time, he was locked up in a small and low cage, which did not allow him to stand up, which resulted in a deformation of the spinal column. Yuri was also forced to take pictures with people. But, fortunately, his luck changed completely. On May 6, 2009, he was sent to the Anami Institute, being the last circus chimpanzee to be rescued before this practice became illegal. Very humanized and weak, he cried and did not want to eat probably because of missing the human family with whom he lived for 13 years. But, in little time, Yuri gained a true family, the chimpanzees Lucy and Noel, with whom he still lives. He helped Lucy to raise this young chimpanzee as if he were the father, protecting and playing, – allowing the mother to rest in some moments. Today, Yuri displays typical behavior for a chimpanzee and no longer really needs people.


Male. DOB: 31/12/93. After 14 years of a very hard life in the circus, on February 12, 2007, Zezinho arrived at the Anami Conservationist Institute. Very humanized, he was always looking for contact with the team, vocalizing to draw the attention of anyone passing by. Currently, he practically ignores people. He lives with another five chimpanzees and has chosen Maria to be his companion. The two of them are always seen together making displays of affection and companionship. He has a hammock and covers of his own to spend the night but would rather sleep in the same hammock as Maria, together with her. Zezinho is considered a very calm and caring chimpanzee. He hardly ever fights or has misunderstandings with those near him. He is very intelligent and knows how to live in group, he likes to eat calmly, organizing the food as if he were setting the table.


Female. DOB: 04/12/04, zoo in Argentina. She was transferred to Anami on January 23, 2018 together with Pweke, her father, and Punia, her mother. Very mistrustful, she was always hiding behind her mother and took a while to trust the team. She did not come close to them even to receive her favorite fruit. At times, she ate leftovers from her parents because she was too afraid to come close to the trays. She often fought with Pweke, usually when she was trying to take some food from him. With a lot of insistence, Zuri overcame her fear. The quibbling reduced as she perceived that food was plentiful and the team was there to support her. Zuri loves to climb the towers and hang upside down feeling the sun and wind on her which she so much loves. She is very active and playful. Her fur shines like never before.



Female. DOB: 07/02/85, zoo in Germany, hybrid Sumatra/Borneo. Katai lived for 25 years in a zoo, in a precarious enclosure without conditions for a life with dignity. In 2010, she was transferred to the Anami Institute. Unfortunately, she lost her companion a shortly before leaving the zoo. When she arrived, she seemed very frightened and mistrustful. Cleaning her enclosure was practically impossible since she refused to participate in the handling. She had a phobia of being enclosed in a constraining environment. A trauma that seems to be irreversible. With a lot of patience and dedication, Katai slowly learned to trust her caretakers. Today, Katai displays a high level of security walking in her enclosure and interacting with her neighbor spider monkeys. She calmly goes into her room for the caretakers to be able to clean the outer part of the enclosure in safety. Enrichment techniques were instituted with a view to pushing away the boredom of captivity and stimulating her desire to move.

IN MEMORIAM – They lived at the sanctuary and now rest in peace


11/2000 (approx.) – 14/06/2017

Male, born in the wild in Africa. Caught when he was a baby, was sold to a trader in Lebanon where he lived until he was four years old in a pet shop, being subjected to taking photographs with the store’s customers. After that, the owners of the establishment were no longer able to maintain him, as he was already very strong and had a will of his own. He was transferred to a precarious zoo located in Beirut and spent another six years without the company of another chimpanzee, being tortured and mistreated.

He arrived at Anami in 2012 with deep psychological marks, the result of a life of torture and frustrations. He used to mutilate himself every day. In the first year at the sanctuary, Bicco showed an extraordinary recovery, lost the fear of humans and began to show typical behaviors of the species. After two years of treatment, he no longer mutilated himself and lived playing and communicating with other neighboring chimpanzees. In the year 2017 unfortunately Bicco left us; a myocardial fibrosis caused him to take his last breath leaving a void inside everyone who lived with him.


1976 (approx.) – 14/10/2011

Male, son of Iara and Johny, Capitão was born at Romano circus. He worked a lot of years at Garcia circus and in 2007 was welcomed at Anami. He lived in the group “Paulistas” with other six chimpanzees. Alpha male, he used to dominate the space. He was a strong chimpanzee, majestic and protector of the group.


17/04/1995 – 31/07/2012

Male, he lived until the year of 2010 at the Brasília Zoo, when he was finally transferred to the Anami Institute. Dunga was integrated with a group of three female chimpanzees, Leila, Tota and Carol, with whom he lived very happily until his last days.

Dunga was a gentle, understanding and delicate chimpanzee. He was hardly irritated, he was always with a calm face like someone who had a good life.


20/05/2000 – 29/11/2014

Male, he was born on May 20, 2000 in a zoo. Johny was rejected by his mother. At five months old, he was received by the Starostiks, living with them in their house until reaching the age of one year old, since he needed special cares like being nursed at every two hours. This close coexistence led them to realizing the importance of providing Johny with a place appropriate for his development and to guarantee the opportunity of coexisting with other chimpanzees. 

This awoke them to a cause, protection for large primates living in bad conditions. From there, they established the Anami Conservationist Institute and it did not take long before other chimpanzees joined the group. Johny lived for nearly fifteen years in the company of five other chimpanzees discovering new experiences, in particular with Caíque, with whom he spent long hours grooming and sunbathing. At age fourteen, he was diagnosed with a congenital heart affliction and required special care. Unfortunately, he did not last long. Johny was the beginning of everything, of a struggle that will never die.