Finally, Court Grants the Last Chimpanzee in a German Circus His Freedom
This week, after years of mounting pressure from PETA Germany and other animal-protection groups – including an appeal by world-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall – the Administrative Court of Lüneburg has ruled that Robby, a 42-year-old chimpanzee who has been held captive by Circus Belly for nearly four decades, must be moved to an accredited sanctuary.
Much of Robby’s life with the circus has been spent alone in a converted trailer, with no opportunity to climb trees, forage for food, or socialise with other chimpanzees. This bleak, lonely enclosure is no place for a highly intelligent and sociable being who, in the wild, would roam across a vast habitat of rainforest and savannah and live in a large group with a complex social order.
PETA Germany has been campaigning relentlessly to help Robby since 2011, and more than 75,000 kind-hearted supporters have joined the group in calling for his rescue and rehabilitation.
The AAP Sanctuary in the Netherlands, to which the court has ruled that Robby must be transferred, specialises in rescuing chimpanzees and other animals from the entertainment industry and the exotic-animal trade. There, Robby will finally be able to put his sad past behind him and live a more natural life among other chimpanzees, no longer confined to a trailer and forced to perform for human entertainment.
What You Can Do
Although Robby’s story is set to have a happy ending, countless other animals are still suffering in circuses around the world, including here in Britain. Learn how you can call for a ban on wild animals in circuses in the UK and Ireland: