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Chimpanzee smuggled to Iraq finds refuge in Kenya Open in fullscreen

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Chimpanzee smuggled to Iraq finds refuge in Kenya

Manno the four-year-old chimp was smuggled across the Middle East [Facebook]

Date of publication: 1 December, 2016

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Manno the chimp was trafficked to the Kurdish city of Dohuk three years ago, part of a "proliferation" of ape trafficking from Africa to the Middle East.
As tens of thousands flee northern Iraq to safety, so has a chimpanzee.

Manno the four-year-old ape was sold to a zoo in the Kurdish city of Dohuk for $15,000 after being trafficked from central Africa three years ago.

But he didn't have other chimps to interact with and had to live with "people who really had no knowledge of how to take care of a chimpanzee," said Jason Mier of Animals Lebanon.

So the NGO had him transferred him to a sanctuary in Kenya where he can be properly cared for.

Mier said there had been a proliferation of ape trafficking to the Middle East, with an alarming number of cases in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait.

The conflict in the region has also made it easier for traffickers to operate, he said.

"Even in Lebanon we've seen more and more animals coming from Syria, you have open borders and lots of people moving across the borders," he said.

The United Nations' Great Apes Survival Partnership says hundreds of apes are trafficked every year, to meet demand mostly from China and the Gulf.

The most trafficked apes are orangutans, followed by chimpanzees, both endangered species.

The UN warned this year that selfies shot by celebrities with baby apes in restaurant gardens, hotels and private zoos in Dubai and elsewhere were harming efforts to enforce the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

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