Conflicting reports in Cairo seized chimpanzee case

In a further development of the baby chimpanzee that was seized at the Cairo International Airport on 8th February, the CITES-Egypt Scientific Authority has announced that quarantine procedures and DNA testing were not carried out because the chimpanzee originated in Egypt. The infant would not have come from a public zoo. The Kuwaiti trafficker was said by CITES-Egypt to be carrying the infant in a pet carrier and he was heading for Kuwait on Egyptair. Supposedly he was fined and allowed to continue his travels because he was unaware of Egyptian laws. The truth, according to an investigation carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture reported by Dina Zulfikar, is that the chimpanzee was concealed in a closed bag and the trafficker was let go with no penalty, and not even a proper police report.

The investigation report that indicated that the Kuwaiti trafficker was concealing the chimpanzee, indicating that he knew trying to export it without CITES and health papers was illegal (Photo: Dina Zulfikar)

The investigation report that indicated that the Kuwaiti trafficker was concealing the chimpanzee, indicating that he knew trying to export it without CITES and health papers was illegal (Photo: Dina Zulfikar)

There are three facilities licensed by CITES-Egypt to hold chimpanzees: the Safaga Breeding Center in Sharm el-Sheikh, the Egyptian Farm for Agriculture (aka Utopia Farm) about 65 km from Cairo on the Alexandria road, and the African Safari Park further along that road. Did it come from one of those? PEGAS gained information in Egypt last November that Safaga had several baby chimps and that the owner was planning to sell some.

Will CITES-Egypt try to enforce its own laws and investigate the origin of the chimpanzee? Or will it do as it has done in the past and simply cover it up?

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