Dina Zulfikar, founder of the internet group Animal Welfare Awareness Research (AWAR), which has, since 2007, been working towards achievable goals for animal rights protection in Egypt, sent us the following positive news:

 After a year and a half’s work, there will be no more chimps in solitary confinement in Giza Zoo – all will be grouped in families… and elephants will also benefit from an enriched regime.

Hilda Tresz, of The Jane Goodall Institute and behaviour specialist manager at Phoenix Zoo Arizona, arrived in Cairo on September 16th as arranged by the General Organization of Veterinary Services and Central Zoos. This was coordinated by civil society, which I had the honour to represent according to the ministerial decree #804 year 2011.

It was our group AWAR who, in 2007, first called for the revitalisation of Giza Zoo, and members and supporters held various projects for enrichment in Giza and Central Zoos in general.

The good news is:

No more chimps in solitary confinement: for the first time, the 3 baby chimps Mish, Bobo, Loza were introduced to adult chimps Ingi and Prince, so now we have mother, father and children.

Kuku the chimp, who was sent into solitary confinement to Fayoum in May 2010 to make space for the orangutans, is back in Giza Zoo to be grouped with Mouza, the chimp who has also been held in solitary confinement since March 2010.

Oscar and Fatouta, who were sent to Alexandria Zoo, will be grouped with the single chimp in there, Meshmesh, forming a bachelor group. This is scheduled to take place next week after the grouping of Kuku and Mouza.

A sign outside Kuku and Mouza’s enclosure will state: chimps are just like humans, the chimp Mouza had a benign tumor and is being treated, she should live in the daylight and have a mate, as chimps live in groups.

The elephants:
it was agreed to implement the following: putting one metre of sand in all elephant enclosures, walking them, taking them to bathe in the lake, food hung up in a puzzling way and not put on the floor, or fed from the keeper to the elephant’s trunk.

The orangutans’ enclosure will be completely finished within days.

Presentations and workshops on Basic Husbandry and Behavioural Enrichment, attended by animal advocates and AWAR members, was held at the Cairo Opera House Cultural Centre on the 26th and 27th of September.

Licensed facilities which hold wild animals in captivity also attended and learnt how to improve the conditions of the animals for whom they are responsible.

Thank you to the Egyptian Federation of Animal Welfare for hosting these workshops and to everyone who helped and supported the event.

We say a huge thank you to the Chairperson of General Organization of Veterinary Services Military General and Doctor Osama Selim, for making this happen.

Also to the  Director of Central Zoos, Dr. Fatma Tammam, and the management and staff of Central Zoos for their work and for cooperating with Jane Goodall Institute and Phoenix Zoo Mandate Hilda Tresz.

~ QCA thanks AWAR president Dina Zulfikar for all her hard work and for this report.