The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis that affects everyone without exception. The virus arrived just a few months ago and has already made a serious impact on our lives: it has taken thousands of them, and put the rest to a standstill. We live in an era of uncertainty; and fear has established itself within our homes. Much like tackling the virus itself, there is only one way we can overcome that fear – by staying united in battle. […]
Our concern about the risk of the virus to humans is extended to non-human primates, of which almost 70% are in danger. This, of course, includes the chimpanzees we care for at MONA. We share almost 99% of our DNA with them, and this increases the chances of transmission of the coronavirus. In fact, common human respiratory viruses have caused deadly outbreaks in great apes in the past. […]
Image 1. The Vitruvian Man (1470). Leonardo da Vinci. Symbolic reference of humanism that places man at the center of the entire universe.
“The anthropocentric vision of western society regarding the natural environment has also contributed to the current state of pandemics“
We speak with David Riba, Head of the MONAEduca Education Department, professor of archeology and prehistory at the University of Girona, and of Human Evolution and Cognition in the Udg-Fundació MONA Masters in Primatology.
Why do deadly human diseases arise in biodiversity “hot spots”?
Just a decade or two ago, wild tropical forests were thought to threaten humans by harboring the viruses and pathogens that lead to new diseases in humans, but is this really the case? […]
The COVID-19 pandemic has made us stop and reflect, giving us the opportunity to do better – individually and together. We must bring out the best in ourselves and show that humans feel affection, understanding, and solidarity towards others, whether they are humans or not. Humanity must, at last, open its eyes to the importance of protecting the environment and the conservation of species.
We’re fast approaching Valentine’s Day and it’s time to start thinking about what gifts you might purchase to adorn your loved ones and make them feel special! But what could be more romantic than buying a gift that can not only be enjoyed by your sweetheart, but extends that kindness and compassion in a way that can help others too?
At Mona Chimpanzee Sanctuary we have lots of ideas for meaningful gifts that will really show that special person you love them. Take a look at our suggestions: […]
The importance of raising your voice
The well-known restaurant booking platform ElTenedor released an ad in which they used a young chimp. MONA took action and launched a petition demanding that the brand withdraw it. Within a few days, more than 36,000 people had signed the petition on Change.org, and ElTenedor withdrew its advertising campaign and promised not to use chimpanzees or other wild animals in their commercials.
We want to congratulate ElTenedor for making the right decision and being so receptive to our message. Surely they will serve as an inspiration for many other brands that, due to ignorance, continue to use wild animals in their advertising campaigns.
Why is it important that ElTenedor withdrew its ad with a young chimpanzee?
Because of the big negative impact this representation has on society. It perpetuates the mistreatment of these individuals and of the next youngsters that will be used. (Yes, there are still creative minds who think that renting a chimpanzee to market a product is a great idea).
But the problem is not “only” the suffering of a “few” individuals. Seeing chimpanzees in disguise and acting, revives the illegal trafficking of primates, destined for the lucrative world of exotic pets. Already we have encountered about 80 cases of different species of primates in the hands of private individuals. Many more than those used in entertainment. And that shows the great problem that still exists today in the legislation and control of ownership, but especially in the importance of the education as an agent of change. From our beginnings we are working for the awareness of society, through guided visits and the training of future primatologists, but what is being done at the legislation level?
Turning point: Solving the European wildlife rescue crisis
As you know, we are part of an international study of the chimpanzee genome, led by a team of scientists from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF). The aim is to find the countries of origin (in Africa) of the victims of illegal trafficking and thus being able to pressure local governments to implement measures to stop this trafficking as currently they usually wash their hands in the absence of evidence.
When Dr. Marquès and team presented the results, some of them caught us by surprise. The samples taken by the caretakers of each of the chimpanzees were used to determine their subspecies and the hypothetical country of origin. But in addition to the original purpose, the samples were used to verify possible kinship relationships and have uncovered a reality: […]
Empathy, Education and Conservation: Primates in a shared world
This year the event took place in Lisbon and this is where our Research team flew, along with some of the students of the Masters in Primatology of Fundació Universitat de Girona and Fundació MONA (masterprimatologiaudg.com).
The presentations were very interesting and enriching, showing a good “level of health” of Iberian Primatology. As always, new bonds and future collaborations were created in order to continue learning about our evolutionary family and working for their conservation and well-being. And we came back with a great reward for our work: winning 4 of the 5 awards were handed out: […]