Bristol Zoo Gardens

Bristol Zoo Gardens’ primate projects in Cameroon

Funds raised will contribute to Bristol Zoo Garden’s international primate projects, focusing on the conservation and welfare of primates that are affected by the illegal bushmeat trade.

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1104986)

Amount raised





  • AnimalsAnimals
  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



Gorillas and chimpanzees are being hunted, killed and sold for meat. No one really knows the scale of the killing but, in just one district of Cameroon in the western part of Africa, an estimated 800 gorillas are shot for meat every year. To add to the horror, when the adults are killed their young are taken and sold as pets, but they often die of starvation or disease in a few days. Bristol Zoo Gardens is working with the Cameroon Wildlife Aid Fund (CWAF) to try to stop the killing, and to care for the orphans of the trade. It's called bushmeat. Gorilla, chimpanzee, baboon, pangolin, mangabe - the list goes on. All of these animals are wild and many of them endangered. Some animals are hunted and sold legally, but hunting endangered primates including gorillas and chimpanzees is illegal. Gorillas and chimpanzees are protected species, but the bushmeat trade is the biggest threat that they face. 90% of the chimpanzee population has already been lost, and, without major conservation efforts, it is feared that all the apes in Cameroon could be wiped out within the next few decades. As a member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), Bristol Zoo Gardens participated in the EAZA Bushmeat Campaign, along with over 100 other European zoos. The campaign collected 1.9 petition signatures by September 2001. The petition was presented to the EU in autumn 2001 to bring this crisis to their attention and call for concerted action. If we don’t do anything then bushmeat hunting at the present levels will lead to the extinction of most large animal species in the hunting areas within the next few decades. It will also lead to a humanitarian crisis as the impact of over-hunting affects people too. The sources of food, medicine and livelihood that indigenous communities depend upon are being severely depleted.