Category Archives: News

Steven Wise, 30 years of legal fight for chimpanzees

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On February 14 we had the best Valentine’s gift: the visit of Steven Wise.

We were able to listen to and share experiences and concerns with one of the people who have been fighting to change the legal status of sentient beings, such as chimpanzees. Why? For them to obtain fundamental rights and not be considered as mere things, like a pencil. And with a reference to a pencil he begins this wonderful TED talk:

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Spring courses 2020- Primatology

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We have organized new courses for 2020!

Next spring trainning in primatology at MONA. Don’t miss this learning opportunity at a primate sanctuary.

More information: cursos@fundacionmona.org


Storm gloria visits us

Since last Sunday we have activated the protocol for flood risk in the center. We are prepared for the rains and the risk of flooding of the rivers these days.

Primates are well, well cared for by the tireless and dedicated team of caregivers.

We will keep you informed of the news.


“Scarred for life: the other side of pet and entertainment chimpanzees”

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Early living conditions greatly  affect their social capacities

A recent study published in the scientific journal  PLoS ONE, based on data collected over 12 years on former pet and entertainment chimpanzees housed at Fundació MONA, highlights that early trauma affects chimpanzees’ grooming competencies throughout their life. 

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TV crew visits us to learn about Erasmus

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MONA is a renowned center for the training of people who want to gain experience working with primates. Since 2015 we are an entity accredited by the Spanish National Agency to receive and also send volunteers abroad to carry out projects financed by the European Commission.

Hence, we recently had the visit of a TV crew from RTVE. They showcased the experience of one or our dearest European Solidarity Corps volunteer, who enjoys an Erasmus grant.

If you missed it (MONA from minute 13.30 on):

 

If you wish to apply for an Eramus grant yourself and be a volunteer at the European Solidarity Corps, here you have more info.

 


VII Iberian Primatology Conference

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Empathy, Education and Conservation: Primates in a shared world

This year the event took place in Lisbon and this is where our Research team flew, along with some of the students of the Masters in Primatology of Fundació Universitat de Girona and Fundació MONA (http://masterprimatologiaudg.com).

The presentations were very interesting and enriching, showing a good “level of health” of Iberian Primatology. As always, new bonds and future collaborations were created in order to continue learning about our evolutionary family and working for their conservation and well-being. And we came back with a great reward for our work: winning 4 of the 5 awards were handed out:

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Paternity test and other surprises

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As you know, we are part of an international study of the chimpanzee genome, led by a team of scientists from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF). The aim is to find the countries of origin (in Africa) of the victims of illegal trafficking and thus being able to pressure local governments to implement measures to stop this trafficking as currently they usually wash their hands in the absence of evidence.

When Dr. Marquès and team presented the results, some of them caught us by surprise. The samples taken by the caretakers of each of the chimpanzees were used to determine their subspecies and the hypothetical country of origin. But in addition to the original purpose, the samples were used to verify possible kinship relationships and have uncovered a reality: half of the stories former owners told us or those stated in their official papers, are fake!

Why? Surely because in the years when there were no id chips, the official ID papers transfered from chimpanzee to chimpanzee as they died; or new baby chimps were claimed to belong to parents with legal papers, in order to obtain permits for the undocumented animals.

Thus, kinships between individuals we thought were real, have turned out not to be: such as Marco and Charly’s brotherhood, or the paternity between Toni and Nico, which have been genetically ruled out. Even information in the chimps official papers (CITES) where it says they were born in one country has been proved to be untrue as the DNA places their origin in another country thousands of kilometers away. In the case of Victor, who was supposed to have been born in Mali, was shown to be a hybrid of two chimpanzee subspecies that do not share the same habitat, meaning he was born in captivity.

You can imagine our faces… But also unexpected kinships appeared: Nico, who suddenly has become an orphan, turns out to have a kinship of 3rd grade with Marco, which means, they are cousins or Marco is his great-uncle.


Stopping acting animals: essential to fight against illegal trade

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The importance of raising your voice

The well-known restaurant booking platform ElTenedor released an ad in which they used a young chimp. MONA took action and launched a petition demanding that the brand withdraw it. Within a few days, more than 36,000 people had signed the petition on Change.org, and ElTenedor withdrew its advertising campaign and promised not to use chimpanzees or other wild animals in their commercials.

We want to congratulate ElTenedor for making the right decision and being so receptive to our message. Surely they will serve as an inspiration for many other brands that, due to ignorance, continue to use wild animals in their advertising campaigns.

Why is it important that ElTenedor withdrew its ad with a young chimpanzee? 

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New veterinary annex

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You already know that chimpanzees are very long-lived and that some of MONA’s inhabitants are getting old. Age-related illnesses begin to be the order of the day, including a number of different heart problems.

If anaesthesia is a risk for an aging animal, imagine when the concerned individual suffers from heart problems.

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Become part of the solution for these animals today

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