With this let­ter we want to inform you about a pro­ject that we have not been able to carry out, such as sen­ding uni­forms and other equip­ment from Bar­ce­lo­na Zoo wor­kers to the annual mee­ting of the fede­ra­tion of reha­bi­li­ta­tion cen­tres and pri­ma­te sanc­tua­ries, PASA (Pan Afri­can Sanc­tuary Allian­ce). But at the same time, we want to sha­re with you the solu­tion that has come from the trans­port com­pany in which we trust this task, FEDEX.

SOS Pri­ma­tes is a non-pro­fit orga­ni­za­tion that wants to publi­ci­ze the deli­ca­te situa­tion faced by pri­ma­tes in the areas whe­re they live and to con­tri­bu­te to their wel­fa­re and pro­tec­tion. It is for­med by a team of volun­teers from the world of pri­ma­to­logy, ani­mal wel­fa­re and con­ser­va­tion and its main objec­ti­ve is to help Lwi­ro Pri­ma­te Reha­bi­li­ta­tion Cen­tre (CRPL), in the Demo­cra­tic Repu­blic of Con­go, assis­ting, when pos­si­ble, to other pri­ma­te sanc­tua­ries.

Bar­ce­lo­na Zoo colla­bo­ra­tes with seve­ral of the­se cen­tres, like CRPL, through the scho­larships awar­ded by its Foun­da­tion, aimed at the con­ser­va­tion, research and rein­tro­duc­tion of endan­ge­red spe­cies.

As we did last year with the ship­ment of five pallets (650 kg) to the annual PASA mee­ting in Sie­rra Leo­ne, this year the objec­ti­ve was to send a pallet (150 kg) to South Afri­ca, to pro­vi­de the care­gi­vers of PASA mem­ber cen­tres with clothes and work equip­ment so that they can carry out their daily tasks at the cen­tres, such as clea­ning and disin­fec­tion of the faci­li­ties or food pre­pa­ra­tion.

The initia­ti­ve emer­ged from zoo kee­pers and edu­ca­tors from Bar­ce­lo­na Zoo lin­ked to SOS Pri­ma­tes, and the equip­ment con­sists of trou­sers, shirts, polo-sty­le swea­ters, rain­coats and boots. The mate­rial is sent pro­perly inven­to­ried, after having gone through a pro­cess of ins­pec­tion, clea­ning and pac­ka­ging. It is a great help, sin­ce the expen­ses of PASA mem­bers have­n’t cea­se to increa­se with the arri­val of new pri­ma­te con­fis­ca­tions.

The reason for sen­ding the goods to the annual mee­ting point of all the Afri­can sanc­tua­ries is becau­se the mate­rial could be redis­tri­bu­ted the­re, and our impact will be big­ger among the dif­fe­rent cen­tres belon­ging to PASA.

But at this point, when the mer­chan­di­se was already in South Afri­ca, we were infor­med that the­re had been a chan­ge of legis­la­tion and that our mer­chan­di­se could not enter the country, becau­se it was not brand-new clothing. After weeks of pres­sing, sen­ding let­ters sup­por­ting our work from Bar­ce­lo­na Zoo, PASA, and others, they noti­fied us that they would pro­ceed to des­troy the pallet becau­se it could not enter the country. You can­not ima­gi­ne the frus­tra­tion that we went through, after so much effort.

For­tu­na­tely, we had FEDEX sup­port and they offe­red us to bring our mer­chan­di­se back to Spain with no cost to SOS Pri­ma­tes.

We would like to thank the volun­teers of SOS Pri­ma­tes for their hard work, their time and effort spend on this pro­ject, as well as we want to thank Bar­ce­lo­na Zoo for its ces­sion of mate­rial and its laundry ser­vi­ces, to Lions­rock South Afri­ca team (ever­yo­ne, but spe­cially to Yvon­ne), to thank PASA hel­ping to unblock the situa­tion, and we would also like to thank FEDEX for their logis­ti­cal sup­port.

We are already wor­king to make the ship­ment again to the new des­ti­na­tion whe­re  PASA’s 2020 mee­ting of Afri­can pri­ma­te reha­bi­li­ta­tion cen­tres will be held, in this case, in Mala­wi.