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Their names are Monga, Hussein, and César

Their names are Monga, Hussein, and César

The chimpanzees were kidnapped over seven months ago.

Wildlife trafficking is a criminal activity that continues to grow around the world, causing harm and suffering to many animals, including great apes like chimpanzees. Unfortunately, the J.A.C.K sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo was recently targeted by criminals who stole three baby chimpanzees named Monga, Hussein, and César. These chimpanzees were rescued from the illegal wildlife trade and were under the care of J.A.C.K. for rehabilitation and eventual release back into the wild.

The demand for exotic animals as pets or for entertainment purposes, such as selfies and tricks, has made wildlife trafficking the 4th most lucrative transnational trafficking in the world. Unfortunately, the illegal and despicable nature of this trade has made sanctuaries and shelters like J.A.C.K. a target for criminal activity. This is the first time that great apes have been taken hostage and ransomed for payment, raising fears of further attacks at other shelters and sanctuaries worldwide.

“The story of Monga, Hussein, and César reached every corner of the world. Their names should not be forgotten. We must take action to stop the cruel and illegal wildlife trade and protect the lives of all animals.”

Susana Pataro, Chair of the Global Advocacy Committee

Photo credit: @zlouma Zlousic

This criminal activity is so lucrative that captors demanded a colossal ransom to release Monga, Hussein, and César, and unfortunately, the global punishments for wildlife trafficking are not firm enough to stop this crime from happening. Even though chimpanzees are now endangered and protected by national and international laws, existing sanctions fall far short of stopping criminals.

The story of Monga, Hussein, and César is not just a sad story; it is an unjust and abominable reality that Franck and Roxane Chantereau, the founders of J.A.C.K., and their team have been facing for over six months now, waiting for information from the authorities and a sign of life from the kidnappers. Unfortunately, all we now hear is a deafening silence, but we can’t give up hope.

Our JGI global community will continue to do all we can to support J.A.C.K. sanctuary’s efforts to return the chimpanzees to their rightful home.

One way to do this is by signing J.A.C.K’s petition to bring them back home: https://www.change.org/p/bringthechimpsbackhome

Learn more about how to fight wildlife trafficking and our ForeverWild campaign.

Original artwork by @Susana Pataro
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