Some 50 chimpanzees and a variety of other animals such as lions, tigers and bears have been rescued from the abusive captivity of numerous circuses and illegal zoos in Brazil. The tormented animals have been moved to a private sanctuary, where they are being cared for and rehabilitated.
The sanctuary was founded by Brazilian businessman and biologist, Pedro Ynterian, with his own funds.
Ynterian says, “Sometimes I make a joke saying that this place is not a sanctuary, but a mental hospital because I’m dealing with mad creatures, creatures that were traumatized in zoos following years of public exposure. They carry out repetitive activities, they are aggressive, they eat excrement, they wound themselves…All that stems from their mental disorders from having been displayed in zoos.”
Ynterian, who is Global Chief of the Great Ape Project, is promoting a federal law that would ban the use of great apes and other animals in circus shows. His aim is to make Brazil a global role model for animal rights.
He is currently fighting a legal battle to have Jimmy, a 26-year-old chimp shown in this video, freed from a Rio de Janeiro zoo. The case is still pending.
Photo Credit: Eric Kilby via Flickr