What would induce someone to kill a mother and father ape to steal their baby? The answer is money.
Infant apes are too cute for their own good, and as the internet shows so well, 'cute sells'.
The Ape Alliance Primate Trade Working Groupworks closely with the Primate Working Group of the Species Survival Network (www.SSN.org) to combat this cruel and destructive trade. All apes are listed on the Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which bans international imports and exports for 'primarily commercial purposes'. Despite it being illegal, apes are still being captured from the wild and smuggled, or shipped openly using fraudulent 'captive bred' papers, to disreputable zoos, safari-parks, private owners and animal trainers for a variety of profitable uses. Films and TV shows using trained wild animals perpetuate the demand (please sign the Animal Pledge at www.AnimalPledge.org). Members of the Ape Alliance and SSN work to:
- educate the public to reduce the demand,
- to investigate wildlife crimes and help the authorities prosecute the criminals, and
- to care for confiscated apes in sanctuaries and rehabilitation centres, ideally as close to their forest of origin as possible.
Tourists and travel companies should avoid 'animal attractions' that use trained wildlife or photographers using animal 'photo-props' - please refer to the Right Tourism campaign by Care for the Wild (recently merged with Born Free) http://right-tourism.com and the ABTA Animal Welfare Guidelines http://abta.com/about-abta/raising-standards/animal-welfare
This Documentary covers the wider issue of the illegal wildlife trade Big Game, Big Money: Illegal Wildlife Trade Documentary