Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Kenya seizes smuggled baby chimps

A Kenya Wildlife Services worker holds a rescued baby chimpanzee at the KWS headquarters in the Kenya capital Nairobi. Authorities battling global wildlife trafficking found six baby chimpanzees crammed into a crate at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta airport in their biggest ever seizure of the endangered primates and warmed over feces.

Kenya has made its biggest seizure of primates in the battle to stop trade in endangered wildlife with the discovery of six baby chimpanzees crammed into a crate at an airport, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has said.

The chimps, with a black market value of $US20,000 ($NZ28,000) each, and four Guenons, a type of long-tailed African monkey, were discovered abandoned and hungry on January 31 but have since been taken into care by the KWS and given toys to play with.

"The six babies were squashed in a small crate together with four Guenons, they were in a very pathetic condition", Eric Kalla, an assistant director at the (KWS) said on Tuesday.

"They had begun eating their own faecal matter due to hunger and unfortunately one baby chimp died due to stress and starvation," he said.

He said the animals, en route from Egypt to Nigeria via Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, belonged to a woman who had claimed the crate was a kennel containing dogs.

Story here.

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