Argentina: The Supreme Court of Río Negro ordered the transfer of chimpanzee “Toti” to a sanctuary

Posted in 09/05/2023

Chimpanzee Toti ilives in Bubacó. A group of experts will have to analyze how to transfer him (photo: RN archive)

By Newsroom – Site Rio Negro

The chimpanzee is 33 years old and has been in captivity in Bubalcó since 2013. Now, specialists will have to carry out a study to determine whether the animal is able to face the transference journey and determine the most suitable place.

The Superior Court of Justice (STJ) of the province of Río Negro today ratified a first instance sentence issued last February by the family judge, Ángela Sosa. The order establishes the transfer of chimpanzee “Toti” from the Bubalcó Zoo “to a center and/or sanctuary for great apes”.

According to members of the highest provincial court, the main purpose is to “safeguard their health and their quality of individual and social life”, as stated by the Judiciary’s press team.

The decision left pending the formation of a team of specialists for the execution phase, which should determine the real feasibility of the transfer, the conditions of the operation and the most suitable destination. This task will fall to the Public Ministry of Defense and the NGO “Asociación de Functionaries y Abogados por los Derechos de los Animales” (Association of Employees and Lawyers for Animal Rights), entities that presented the process.

The ruling focused on the expertise of an appointed expert, who concluded that Toti “is currently and imminently at risk” and “suffers from permanent anxiety” due to lack of socialization with others of his species, public stimulation at the zoo and the environmental conditions of your place of accommodation.

“The majority vote of the Superior Court of Justice detailed the damage and urgency of the requested transfer, given the threat to life, quality of life and survival of the chimpanzee as a result of the conditions in which it is housed in the defendant’s zoo, the situation that “Toti” has been living for years must be resolved so as not to fall into the figure of animal abuse, as warned by the Attorney General”, detailed the majority vote of the Superior Court of Justice.

The process, which was filed in 2020, called for “the release” of Toti and “his subsequent and immediate transfer and relocation in a sanctuary for great apes”.

Members of Afada proposed as possible destinations the Great Apes Sanctuary of Sorocaba (São Paulo, Brazil) and the ANAMI Institute (Curitiba, Brazil).

The chimpanzee has been in Bubalcó since the end of 2013 and is 33 years old. He was born in 1990 at the Cutini Zoo, in Ezeiza. He was soon transferred with his mother to the Florencio Varela Zoo (Buenos Aires). When he was still breastfeeding, his mother died. In 2008 he was transferred to the Córdoba Capital Zoo, until he finally arrived in Guerrico 10 years ago. According to the presentation, during his life he only had direct contact with two beings of his species, for short periods: his mother and the chimpanzee Coco, in Córdoba.

Source (in Spanish): 2900530/

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