Protecting Chimpanzees – In a Unique Way
They are a fascinating animal species – yet their population is greatly endangered. The subject is chimpanzees who live in West, Central and East Africa. In order to save them, the size of their population must be controlled – particularly in zoos.
At first view it may be incomprehensible for a layperson: although there are decreasing numbers of chimpanzees in the world, birth control in zoos is equated with animal protection. The Akademie also supports this approach, however only when it involves animal species which won’t be reintroduced into the wild. Chimpanzees belong to this category. When they are born in zoos, they don’t learn natural behaviors, such as searching for food, from their mothers. Therefore a reintroduction into the wild would mean certain death.
For this reason, the Akademie once again supported the Akatia Zoo in CÔte d' Ivoire in 2017 – this time with Implanon®. This pharmacological name stands for hormone sticks which are implanted in the animals. Such a method should serve to maintain the population at a size which guarantees species-appropriate keeping for the chimpanzees at that particular zoo. The medicine, a donation by the Akademie, reached the Akatia Zoo via Estelle Raballand, the project coordinator of the National Zoo of Abidjan.
Additional in-kind donations by the Akademie included medicine and equipment for the immobilization of zoo and wild animals following the introduction of this technique by the Akademie in 2013. ■