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the three "r"s

From the moment of rescue, the primates in the care of the Zambian Primate Project are destined for a life back in the wild where they belong.  Each step of their rehabilitation contributes to a successful release. These primates have suffered greatly at the hands of humans. Most were orphaned as babies when their mothers were killed by poachers for bush meat. Too small to eat, these babies were then sold into the illegal pet trade and chained up in captivity by ropes tied around their waists, necks or wrists for many years before their rescue. These ropes are seldom loosened and become deeply embedded into their flesh as they grow, often resulting in a painful death.

Intervention of this intense animal cruelty is the focus of ZPP.  If rescued in time, the primates are given a second chance at life.


ZPP have rescued over 750 vervet monkeys and baboons since 2002, from the illegal exotic pet trade in Zambia and those injured or orphaned through the actions of humans. This includes illegal snaring by poachers for bush meat and the persecution and stoning of primates in local communities where they are often perceived as pests.

The primates are rescued by the ZPP team from hotspot areas across Zambia, in collaboration with officers from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) and Zambia Police, following intelligence received from a national network of local informers and concerned members of the public. Some of the primates rescued are given up willingly, whilst others are hostile confiscations.

In Zambia it is illegal to kill, eat, buy, sell or keep primates as pets. People found engaging in any illegal activity involving primates are arrested and prosecuted.