Press Release: Chimpanzee stuck on Canary Islands for 22 years
AAP was made aware of his existence by two Spanish animal rights organisations*. They found the chimpanzee alone and frustrated, continuously swinging his head back and forth. Just once a day, during feeding time, Macario was visited by the head of the family. In his cage, there was no form of distraction, nor was there a possibility to climb. The owner occasionally strewed a little sawdust on the floor, but Macario was usually forced to sleep on the hard cement floor.
David van Gennep, director of the AAP Foundation: “During our 40 years of existence, we have unfortunately seen many animals in dire situations, but seeing Macario in that cage gave me the chills once again. Keeping a social and intelligent animal in this manner is inhumane, but it still takes place in Spain. Fortunately, the former owner admitted that Macario was not happy. He regrets his 'purchase' and wishes Macario a good life at the AAP rescue centre, together with his conspecifics. Fortunately, the owner feels remorse, and I hope that Spanish authorities will use this example to maintain legislation related to private possession of exotic animals. In any case, AAP will be ready to rescue animals in need".
Together with its Spanish branch Primadomus and colleague organisations, AAP lobbies for good legislation in European countries, prohibiting the possession of primates like it is prohibited in the Netherlands. This way, other animals will not have to suffer the same fate as Macario.
* Jane Goodall Institute Spain and FAADA