Posted in 11/09/2008




Lili and Megh\’s case, chimpanzees who live at "Evolution Ways Sanctuary", owned by Rubens Forte and family – located in the city of Ibiúna and affiliated to GAP Project, became news with no effort.


It\’s a lawsuit that has been lasting several years and got to a point that we did not have much to do unless ask for a Habeas Corpus writ, in order to guarantee the security of both baby chimpanzees, who were born and have been living in captivity during all their lives.


Lili and Megh were born at "Paraíso Perdido" Zoo, in Fortaleza (capital of Ceará state, in the northeast of Brasil), a private zoo that has been closed by IBAMA more than one year ago, because it did not have operation conditions. Before the zoo got closed, these chimpanzees were delivered to Rubens Forte and family, who had, at that time, a first Sanctuary at Ubatuba city. This Sanctuary was not approved by IBAMA because of its location and everything was transferred to a new Sanctuary in Ibiúna, that has already been approved by the environmental institute.


After some judicial orders, a Judge decided to ask for "reintegration to nature", operation that is impossible to be done. Even IBAMA did not agree with this decision and a stalemate was reached. As a way-out, Rubens Forte, with GAP Project\’s assistance, open an order asking for the Habeas Corpus in "Superior Tribunal de Justiça (STJ)", aiming to guarantee the security of his two adoptive daughters chimpanzees. There is a former case of Habeas Corpus for a chimpanzee, which happened to "Suiça", who used to live at Salvador Zoo, in Bahia state. Dr. Heron Santana managed to have the order approved, but the chimpanzee died unexpectedly, without enjoying freedom. Suiça\’s case was promoted all over the world and another case, similar, happened in Austria, where two chimpanzees are fighting to be treatened as people and to be able to survive in our society.


It\’s important that all organizations that defend nature, environment and animals speak up and demonstrate their support sending messages to "Superior Tribunal de Justiça", to the minister in charge of the examination, Dr. Castro Meira, to the minister who asked to examine the habeas corpus\’ request better, Dr. Herman Benjamin, showing that the habeas corpus is fair and that the Tribunal is being watched by all environmentalists of the world, and to minister Dra. Eliana Calmon, to guarantee that innocent and immaculate beings, like these two chimpanzees, that represent all of them, should have their basic needs and rights respected.


Habeas Corpus is a right that the chimpanzees, who are people too, can make the choice to demand.


Dr. Pedro A. Ynterian

President of GAP Project International