“See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”

The Global Freight Group Administrator, Rachel Marchant, reports, on behalf of the GFG’s Angola member, ATS (Angola) Lda, about recent missions to rehome three chimpanzees and their part in the chain of rescue.

A sad start:

Sadly these three chimpanzees have seen and heard too much already, with no voice to speak out against it.  They were ‘acquired’ (usually under great stress) by poachers who simply want to make money from them.  Sadly, such is the international commercial bush meat and pet trade in many countries.

Watch the Jane Goodall Institute video here to get an insight into the terrifying capture of a baby chimpanzee (footage is a re-enactment of an example of what poaching is like from the perspective of a chimp). It is truly evil.


However, we are delighted to share with you a happy ending for these three chimpanzees: Grace, Leila and George.

Rescued from poachers, freed from a life of being chained to a tree or kept in a small cage, the three chimpanzees were looked after by committed carers who opened their hearts and houses to the chimpanzees.  Dalene Dreyer is one such dedicated carer, as you can see below, she is cooking as if there weren’t a demanding chimp, George, clinging to her back!

Dalene looked after both George and Leila, starting their recovery process while she and others, including the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA), sorted out the mass of paperwork required to move animals which are on the CITES list.  As Dalene reported to her Facebook followers who were keen to follow their journey to safety:

“The documentation seems to be on track now, after we’ve met up with the National Director of Biodiversity of Angola. We’ve submitted yet another letter to the Ministry of Environment. It was indicated that CITES Angola will contact CITES of Congo and Zambia to confirm the import of the chimps.
In the meantime – to receive the Sanitation Permit from the Ministry of Agriculture, we had to give them rabies vaccinations, which was a mission on its own.“

The Paper Trail:

Further to the legal permissions required to transport the chimps, is the export documentation and transport arrangements necessary for the actual logistics of moving the chimpanzees.

This is where the GFG’s Angolan member, ATS (Angola) Lda comes into play.  Being an expert not only in logistics but also with great experience of live freight, moving animals, ATS were best placed to assist. 

GFG Live was the start of this specialisation in freight.  ATS (Angola) Lda gained great knowledge and experience in moving animals – ranging from someone’s beloved dog (Mr Stanley) to more exotic beings, such as Peri the parrot.  Therefore, they were expertly placed to be the trusted freight forwarder to ensure the chimpanzees’ safe passage to their new homes.

The Sales Manager of ATS, Ms Nita Palhota, being an animal lover herself, was delighted to play a part in the safe rehoming of the chimpanzees.  She said I felt I was doing something important, something that could change the world.”  And so she has, she has helped change the worlds of Leila, George and Grace, for the better, forever.

Although the story of each chimpanzee is slightly different, the pattern is the same – animals stolen from the wild for humans to profit from – but this time the outcomes are happy ones.


George was rescued in February 2017 by Dr. Cristina Oliveira, the owner and vet at Casa dos Animais, from a poacher who brought George into her clinic for treatment.  Cristina foresaw the miserable caged life that George would face if she didn’t take him.

In April 2017, Cristina had to travel to Portugal so asked Dalene Dreyers to care for George, knowing of Dalene’s previous fostering experience.  Dalene had been the safe house, between 2005 and 2007, for three rescued chimps on their way to Chimpanzee Eden in South Africa.

Although Cristina returned, it was clear another rehoming would be too stressful for George so Dalene continued to care for George in her home during the planning stages, before accompanying him to the Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in north Point Noire, Republic of Congo, on 15th November 2017.  Here Dalene introduced George to his new carers.  Chantal, the carer, can be seen helping George in this video.

During George’s three month quarantine, Chantal will help him heal and learn to love, and be loved, again, as well as teach him valuable skills.  After this time, he will be introduced to an older female and a young male chimpanzee, before being integrated into a larger group on one of the beautiful islands within the Tchimpounga Sanctuary.

Read the JGI full account of George’s journey and rehabilitation here: http://news.janegoodall.org/2017/12/19/5710/


Leila was rescued by John Grobler who saw her chained to a tree, sad and malnourished, at Granja-por-de-Sol park.  She had been surviving mainly on pasta with the odd scrap of chicken and chips.  Compare the before and after photos of Leila below.  Watch her delight, here, as she eats an avocado…

Leila’s plight was relayed by Chyemenn Santos to her friend, a local veterinary doctor, Dra. Cristina Oliveira of Casa do Animais clinic who then got her to Dalene Dreyer’s home and started preparations to get her to a sanctuary.  Leila’s destination was to be Chimfunshi Sanctuary in Zambia.


Also heading to Chimfunshi was Grace.  Grace had been rescued from a poacher by a veterinary doctor, Dra. Cristina Oliveira.  Cristina cared for Grace before travelling with her, Dalene and Leila to the Chimfunshi Sanctuary in Zambia.

Leila and Grace arrived at Chimfunshi together, in January 2018, and reports are positive: Leila and Grace are finally at Chimfunshi and doing very well! The girls are in quarantine, and are gradually getting used to the place and us. Once they get the clear bill of health by our vet they will be integrated into one of our already established groups. We promise to keep you updated along the process! We would like to take this time to thank Dalene Brisley Dreyer, Cristina Oliveira, John Grobler, David Squarre and the environmental agencies of Angola and Zambia for the rescue, amazing care and support.”

The stories sound simple but, as evident from the list of credits, the process requires the action and dedication of many people… read the trials of giving a grown chimpanzee a rabies shot! (https://www.facebook.com/dalene.b.dreyer/posts/1574504202594819)


The shipping alone requires many considerations, as Nita of ATS reported:

“These animals being an endangered species, a CITES import and Export Permit was obtained from the Angolan and Congo/Zambia authorities.  Then ATS proceeded with booking flights, issuing all export documents and proudly handling the shipments.”

Such is the challenge of rescuing animals.  Each person is a necessary link in the chain to freedom, from those who notice an animal in need and take action initially, to the sanctuaries who offer a safe future.

The JGI Sanctuaries:

The Jane Goodall Institute in the Republic of Congo operates the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center, the largest chimpanzee sanctuary and home to nearly 150 chimpanzees, many of whom are orphans.  The Institute’s organization in South Africa also manages Chimp Eden, another chimpanzee sanctuary.

Chimfunshi Wildlife orphanage in Zambia was founded by David and Sheila Siddle and is the oldest sanctuary in Africa and now Leila and Grace’s new home. 

In September 2017, Sheila’s lifetime work was recognised by PASA as they awarded Sheila the first ever “Circle of Compassion” for “the significant sacrifice and dedication shown by the extraordinary leaders who have given their lives to protecting our planet’s wildlife

The Future:

So what about the future of chimpanzees in the wild?  Will poachers continue to treat them as a resource, a commodity?  Rachel asked Nita how Dra. Cristina Oliveira saw the future for chimpanzees regarding habitat status, educating people like poachers and preventing further trading of chimpanzees:

Reply: “She doesn’t… meaning that it would be necessary  for a new generation to change their habits.   People have to be educated.  People have to learn that our world is not endless.”

Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots:

Thankfully, this is where the Jane Goodall Institute steps in and is changing the world with a programme called Roots & Shoots started by Dr. Jane Goodall 27 years ago.  Roots & Shoots empowers young people of all ages in nearly 100 countries to become involved in hands-on programmes for the local community, for animals and the environment. 

The Jane Goodall Institute founded its Roots & Shoots Program to teach future generations to be carers of the natural world.  As they say:

The route to improving the lives of animals around the world depends on each of us.  Even if we cannot change the whole world, we can change the whole world of one animal at a time, and it is one part of the jigsaw that Jane Goodall refers to here.

How you can help:

Below is a list of the people and organisations who work tirelessly on their part of the jigsaw to which Jane Goodall refers.  Each part being necessary to ensure this type of rescue and recovery of chimpanzees can continue.

Please follow the links to find out more and to support their work.  Every effort is worthwhile, only apathy harms.  Donations to all the charities listed are more than welcome to continue the life-saving work.

Dalene Dreyer, Angola

Cristina Oliveira, veterinary doctor at Casa do Animais, Angola – www.casadosanimais.co.ao

CITES Angola / Zambia / Congo

Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) – www.pasaprimates.org

ATS (Angola) Lda – info.atslad@netcabo.co.ao

ATS 2 Transitos e Logistica Lda, Portugal – ats@ats.com.pt

The Jane Goodall Institute – www.janegoodall.org & https://www.facebook.com/janegoodallinst

The Jane Goodall Institute Shoots & Roots Programme: http://rootsandshoots.org and  https://www.facebook.com/rootsandshoots/

Chimfunshi Sanctuary, Zambia – www.chimfunshi.com & https://www.facebook.com/chimfunshi/

Tchimpounga Sanctuary, Congo –  https://www.facebook.com/tchimpounga/ & via the JGI links

John Grobler and Chyemenn Santos for noticing Leila and taking action.

Cristina would also like to mention the excellent assistance from the customs staff at Lusaka airport, the airline, Proflight, and their pilot who was so considerate to chimpanzees Leila and Grace during the flight.

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