A British-born chimpanzee who was the subject of a petition to rescue him from a German zoo is still being brutally bullied by the other apes, shocking new footage shows.
Bili the bonobo was born at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire in 2008, but was rejected by his mother and sent to a zoo in Frankfurt before ending up in Wuppertal, in western Germany.
In the video, filmed by a zoo visitor, Bili is sitting on a raised platform in the chimpanzee enclosure as some other bonobos try to push him off. Only when one violently pulls Bili’s arm does he fall down.
Bonobo Bili is trying to protect himself on the ground while surrounded by the other apes in the troop who are attacking him
The British-born chimpanzee Bili is being still bullied by German apes at Wuppertal zoo who have not accepted him into the troop. He is seen hunched in the corner of the enclosure as a larger apes attack him
Almost the entire troop of bonobos then jump on Bili and start to beat him, while another zoo visitor can be heard shouting ‘nein, nein!’
Bili tries to escape into a corner and protect his body from the blows by making himself as small as possible with his arms around his face.
The monkeys at the zoo in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia have not accepted Bili, and their attacks have previously left him with horrific open, bleeding wounds.
The shocking footage of the latest attack was shared online by Andre P., who wrote: ‘After a few days of quietness, then today this “attack” happened out of nowhere. And this time almost the entire troop joined in.’
Bili was sitting on a platform in the bonobo enclosure at Wuppertal Zoo when he was violently pulled down and set upon by the pack
Zoo spokesman Andreas Haser-Kalthoff said he was at the enclosure himself at the time of the attack.
He said: ‘Such images are not nice. But it is part of the integration of the ape in the troop.’
Andre P. wrote however that although he understands the zoo policy’s towards the British bonobo, his acceptance of it ‘melted like ice cream in the Sahara’ – as not a single zookeeper interfered.
According to animal welfare organisations bonobo Bili has been severely traumatised since being sent to the German zoo.
The campaign to save bullied chimpanzee Bili started after heartbreaking images were released showing him with bites on his head and hand
Bonobo Bili has even had part of his ear bitten off, and animal rights activists want him to be sent back to England
The petition ‘Save Bonobo Bili from Wuppertal Zoo’ was started by Petra Bente, who says he has been severely traumatised since being sent to the zoo in western Germany
Heartbreaking images were released showing 10-year-old Bili with bites on his head and hand and a chunk missing from his year.
Things have got so bad that a campaign has been set up to get him sent back to Britain.
The ‘Save Bonobo Bili from Wuppertal Zoo’ petition launched by Petra Bente aims to see Bili rehoused to the ‘Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre’ near Bovington, in Dorset, England.
According to Bente, Bili was sent to Germany from Twycross Zoo after his mother Maringa failed to care for him.
He was first flown to Frankfurt in January 2009, where he was adopted by loving female chimps who had previously brought up orphaned youngsters.
He reportedly integrated well in the group, but despite that in autumn last year he was sent to Wuppertal Zoo at the recommendation of the Specialist Group of the European Zoological Community and the European Conservation Breeding Program.
Bili was brought to Wuppertal Zoo for as part of a conservation programme as Bonobos are an endangered species, but can be seen here nursing open wounds
A promising start: Four-month old Bili was in Frankfurt settling in well, but life has taken a darker turn since he was ostracised and attacked by his fellow great apes
The petition on Change.org has been signed by more than a quarter of a million people so far.
But the pleas have so far been rejected by Wuppertal Zoo, who say they are still hoping that Bili can be integrated with their own ape family.
The zoo’s Deputy Director Severin Dressget said that Bili was not allowed to breed by the Frankfurt Zoo he was living in, and as a result had been sent to them.
He said: ‘This was done with the aim of integrating him into the existing group and thus to contribute to the preservation of the highly endangered bonobos by breeding.’
The renowned Jane Goodall Institute, a global wildlife and environment conservation organization headquartered in Virginia in the U.S, has also taken an interest in the battle for Bili.
The little ape looked relaxed before snuggling in amongst other passengers on the flight from Birmingham to Frankfurt
Grasping his ‘passport’ excitedly Bili and his keepers looked forward to him finding a better life in Germany
This adorable mock-up ‘passport’ records the bonobo as having – perhaps unsurprisingly – brown hair and brown eyes
Dr. Iris Weiche of the institute, which is named after the world-renowned British behavioural researcher and primatologist Dame Jane Goodall, said: ‘Of course the developments in the troop, which can take quite a while, are closely monitored by us.’
Bonobos are also known as pygmy chimpanzees, but are technically a separate species. They are, as their nickname alludes, smaller than chimpanzees and highly endangered.
In the wild they can only be found in one country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is feared only a few thousand specimen remain.
- The ‘Save Bonobo Bili from Wuppertal Zoo’ petition can be signed here.