Great apes and monkeys have been seized – or not seized – on many occasions when detected at the Cairo International Airport in Egypt in illegal trade incidents. There has been a long-standing problem of what to do with primates that are caught being trafficked through the airport. This problem has been discussed within CITES, by the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance and by GRASP. They all recommend that a new facility be constructed to hold seized great apes, and Egypt has pledged to do this.
Currently the Giza Zoo is designated as the only rescue centre in Egypt for seized apes and monkeys. But the Giza Zoo was built in Victorian times (1891 to be exact) and is not an appropriate place to hold trafficked primates, particularly if they are to be returned to their country of origin as Egyptian national law and CITES regulations call for.
PEGAS has been working with Egyptian government authorities, the Jane Goodall Institute, and Egyptian animal welfare activist Dina Zulfikar to establish the new rescue centre. JGI has kindly prepared a very professional set of architectural plans for the facility. We hope that the Egyptian government will use these plans to construct this much needed facility.