The last circus chimpanzee...


The case does not date from today. It has been going on for more than 5 years ... And several decades for this primate. Since 2015, our partner PeTa Germany, has been fighting for the liberation of this chimpanzee, held without congeners in a traveling circus. The district veterinary office in Celle had given its verdict, in favor of the association's request, at the end of 2015. A place in the Dutch sanctuary, AAP, was then available. AAP specializes in the socialization of chimpanzees from captivity, but also that of wild animals. But fate - or rather the circus - will decide otherwise. They challenge the decision in court. Robby lived, at the time, mainly in his 12 square meter trailer - 2 meters 30 high - and in an outer enclosure of 39 square meters.

The first court decision, in 2017, is a relief: the circus loses and Robby must be placed. The Lüneburg Administrative Court, before rendering its decision, consulted many experts. They confirm that the lack of sociability does not help the chimpanzee and that the presence of humans will never replace that of his congeners, despite all the love that a man could give to the animal. Chimpanzees are very social animals, they need contact with their own to be 100% fulfilled, like other species of great apes. But now, the circus is appealing this decision.

The second decision, in 2018, is disappointing: Robby will not go to a sanctuary. He will not leave the circus because of his advanced age. Despite everything, the court confirms that the detention of the great apes is suffering, was not suitable for the species and violated section 2 of the law on animal welfare. The numerous behavioral disorders observed by competent veterinarians, however, prove that Robby is in great distress.

Today, Robby still has about 15 years to live. These years could be a sign of contact with its peers, of freedom ... But for now, the circus refuses. Why ? Because for them, Robby is a member of their family. But can we really let a member of his family live alone, without ever seeing a single individual of his kind? Wouldn't it be, on the contrary, the most beautiful proof of love to let Robby meet other chimpanzees?

« [...] Animals are like us in many ways. They show emotions such as joy, sadness, anger and despair. They kiss and hug, hold hands, tickle and laugh. You build strong, loving and supportive relationships with family members and friends. Like us, they can be aggressive, but they can also be compassionate and selfless. The brain anatomy of chimpanzees and humans is almost the same (our brains are bigger). Chimpanzees can think and solve problems. They use and build tools and young animals learn to use them by observing, imitating and practicing them.

I am strictly opposed to the exploitation of chimpanzees in the entertainment industry, because I have met many. Each chimpanzee that must appear somewhere was separated from its mother very early. This separation is absolutely traumatic. In the wild, a young animal is not weaned until around five years of age - and even thereafter, relationships with family members are often maintained for a lifetime. Animals can live up to 50 or 60 years in the wild. Chimpanzees are highly social creatures and social isolation generally causes psychological damage. »

Dr. Jane Goodall

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Help us keep an eye on Robby and convince his owner to make the changes necessary for his well-being, by making a donation.


- Your donation would help us to follow the progress of the Robby affair, but also to visit him. He would allow us to contact the circus in order to explain to him that, despite all the love they may have for Robby, his place is not in such a small space. The AAP sanctuary, ready to welcome him, is specialized and competent to help Robby to re-create links with individuals of his species. And that would not be the most beautiful proof of love?


- If Robby is entrusted to us, the money collected - via donations - which will not yet be used in travel will be donated to the APP, for the good of Robby as well as to the future final structure which will be responsible for it. We thus guarantee permanent monitoring of the primate.


- His case could serve as an example, by showing that circuses can yield their animals, for their well-being. This could serve as an example for all other great apes, but also for other animals around the world. Let us join forces so that the chimpanzees can find a free life, without constraints.

circuses chimpanzee Robby