Posted in 15/10/2008

Article published at Geographical Horizon Magazine (October 2008) – part 1

Defending our cousins

All the primates should have their rights to life, freedom and protection against torture, mistreating and degrading captivity ensured. This is the main value defended by the movement called GAP International (The Great Ape Project), organization founded 14 years ago that arrived in Brazil in 1999, through the biologist and businessman Pedro Ynterian. Due to his dedication to the cause, Ynterian has been elected president of the international network, which has branches in seven countries, apart from Brazil (here GAP is called Primates Support Group). Its mission, among others, is to fight for the protection of primates threatened to extinction and for legislation that forbid international trade and hunting. In the countries where the laws are not respected, mostly in Africa and Southeast Asia, females are killed and their sons are sold as pets, circus attraction or to be used in lab experience.

Today 74 chimpanzees live in the four sanctuaries affiliated to GAP BrazilSorocaba, Vargem Grande Paulista and Ibiúna, in São Paulo; and Curitiba, Paraná state. The sanctuaries are great areas in which the animals are closely accompanied and receive veterinary, nutritional and psychological treatment, relearning to live in group, to exercise and feeling again a little bit of what humans stolen from them: freedom.

Ynterian wrote a book about the work of the Brazilian team from GAP, which reinforced the work developed at
United States by volunteers of that country, and included the opinions of world authorities in primatology, bioethics, biology and psychology. Among them Jane Goodall, british primatologist known for her work in defense of primates in Africa. In the next page, in a exclusive interview to GEOGRAPHIC HORIZON, the businessman talks about his nomination, the priority of his management as the leader of the directive committee of the organization and the difficulties that he has already come against while defending chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans.