WhatsNew2Day
Latest News And Breaking Headlines

Three orphaned chimpanzees snatched from sanctuary as gang demand ransom and threaten decapitation

Three orphaned chimpanzees are snatched from a sanctuary in ‘world’s first monkey abduction’: gang sends ‘proof of life’ videos and threatens to behead animals unless six-figure ransom is sent

  • Gang seized the animals from the Jack Sanctuary in Congo two weeks ago
  • They demand ransom and threaten the shelter owner’s family
  • The three chimpanzees have already been orphaned by animal smuggling

<!–

<!–

<!– <!–

<!–

<!–

<!–

A gang has kidnapped three young chimpanzees from a Congolese sanctuary and demanded a six-figure ransom for their safe return.

The animal thieves sent ‘proof of life’ videos to the Central African shelter and threaten to behead them if their demands are not met in what is the first ever recorded ransom case involving a monkey.

Footage shared by the kidnappers shows two of the orphans, Hussein and Cesar, clambering over upturned furniture, while Monga, a five-year-old woman, has her arms tied above her head in the bare brick room.

Cesar had only been at the shelter for a few weeks after being rescued from a market and taken on a three-day trip on the back of a motorbike and two flights to the shelter.

The chimpanzees were seized at 3 a.m. on Sept. 9 at the 14-acre Jack Primate Rehabilitation Center in Lubumbashi, although it’s not clear how the gang managed to pull off the heist.

A gang has kidnapped three young chimpanzees from a Congolese sanctuary and demanded a six-figure ransom for their safe return

A gang has kidnapped three young chimpanzees from a Congolese sanctuary and demanded a six-figure ransom for their safe return

A gang has kidnapped three young chimpanzees from a Congolese sanctuary and demanded a six-figure ransom for their safe return

A gang has kidnapped three young chimpanzees from a Congolese sanctuary and demanded a six-figure ransom for their safe return

Founder Franck Chantereau said of the images: “You can see how terrified they are.”

He said threats had been made against his family and said he would not pay the six-figure ransom.

He is working with law enforcement agencies to try to locate the chimpanzees and ensure they return safely.

The chimpanzees have already been orphaned as a result of the pet trade, a trade estimated to be worth £20 billion a year.

Chantereau said, “They had all been given a second chance, but now this new horror.”

The black market is driven by collectors of body parts and live animals in Asia and the United Arab Emirates.

Adams Cassinga, director of ConservCongo that investigates and prosecutes wildlife crime, said: Mongabay: ‘This is very rare, this is the first time, not only in Africa but in the world, that I hear of this. We have heard [of] people who use wildlife as a shield or as a political or social agenda.

‘This is the first time I’ve heard of people literally kidnapping animals to ask for money.

“These criminals have taken all wildlife crime to a new level. And it requires law enforcement to step up their game too. There is panic and fear.’

A baby chimpanzee costs around £10,000, but if you take one in the wild, you normally have to kill the whole family.

Footage shared by the kidnappers shows two of the orphaned animals, Hussein and Cesar, clambering over upturned furniture

Footage shared by the kidnappers shows two of the orphaned animals, Hussein and Cesar, clambering over upturned furniture

Footage shared by the kidnappers shows two of the orphaned animals, Hussein and Cesar, clambering over upturned furniture

The chimpanzee population in Africa has plummeted from one million in the early 20th century to about 300,000 today.

Chantereau, from France, established his facility in 2006, one of three in the Democratic Republic of Congo and home to about 40 chimpanzees.

It helps to rehabilitate the animals rescued from traffickers by providing food, shelter and medicine while raising awareness of their plight.

The kidnapping has raised concerns about a new kind of crime targeting shrines.

He told Mongabay: “We have been facing a lot of challenges for 18 years now. But we’ve never seen anything like it: the abduction of monkeys. They also threatened to kidnap my own children and wife.’

Florence Teneau, of the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, which helps fund the Jack Sanctuary, said: “These shelters receive a lot of aid and money from international associations, like ours, and the traffickers benefit because the animals are the most important more precious.”

MailOnline has contacted the Jack Sanctuary.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More