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Bili an

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Bili is a Western Chimpanzee who was probably caught in the wild as nothing is known (or forthcoming) about his early years. We have been told that he spent 15 years in a circus before moving to Stara Zagora Zoo in Bulgaria. Here he spent another 15 years alone in a very small enclosure. All we can assume therefore is that he was born around 1981 and who knows what the circumstances surrounding his capture were.

We first found out about Bili in December 2010 when we were approached by a member of the Ministry to urgently give Bili a home. This urgency was not reflected in the behaviour of the Ministry in Bulgaria, Vier Photon (Four Paws) and another Sanctuary who all conspired to delay Bili’s rescue until September 2011. Thanks to our supporters money was quickly raised for Bili’s transport (Bulgaria had no money in their budget), within a couple of weeks of the appeal going out. Then came the delay until finally after we had given up hope a line of communication opened and to cut a long story short Bili was on his way, arriving here with Graham and Mike at 1.30.a.m. on 23rd September 2011. Waiting to welcome the travellers after their 4000 mile round trip was Rhys to the Rescue host Dr Rhys Jones – the rest is history!

Bili is a calm friendly healthy chimp and settled in remarkably quickly with Tubman and Bimbo who were to be his companions for life. Bili had never had more than a blanket and a stone platform for his bed. How he revels in his big shredded paper nest! In fact he spent most of the journey home cuddled up asleep in his travelling crate embedded in shredded paper and his blanket! Bili arrived here as fresh as a daisy with Graham and Mike hollow-eyed, unshaven and exhausted.

Bili quickly established a good relationship with Bimbo and Tubman and his socialisation therefore began very quickly.

The temperament of all three being so compatible helped enormously and was the main reason that we believed Bili’s best interests would be served by coming here. Tragically Bimbo died on Friday 10th February 2012 from long established heart damage that he had shown no indication of.

Bili began to bully Tubman (48 years old) and so we moved Bili next door to the younger group where he has settled down really well and seems happy.

Bili is more sociable with people than with chimps and very inquisitive about his surroundings. In his first week he had removed the radiator in his room from its brackets twice! He very quickly settled into the routine here and is extremely cooperative in moving from one area to another. His first venture into the open air was a source of great wonder for him as he gazed up at the sky, the mountains, and the other animals. He had no view in Bulgaria and no outside enclosure.

Bili has encountered many new experiences including foods that he obviously had not tasted before. His diet in Bulgaria was frugal but in no way unhealthy, unlike some of the chimps we have rescued where they have been grossly overweight and unhealthy from unsuitable diets like fried chicken! Bili particularly enjoys tangerines, grapes, lychees, yoghurts, smoothies, and boiled eggs – all good healthy food. He eats a range of fruit, nuts and vegetables as do all the chimps. His 30 years in solitary before he came here have left their mark.

Bili has now joined the other four chimps! He has also started to copy Fergus using the water bottle as a water pistol and Ronnie had been teaching him sign language. He is enjoying life.

Bili’s friends… Fergus

The perfect gift for animal lovers, why not adopt Bili

Animal adoption is a great way to support Wales Ape & Monkey Sanctuary, lasts all year and makes for a lovely treat or gift.
Treat yourself or buy as a gift for the animal lover in your life.


Nakima Ronnie Toto Twmi

Chimpanzee Facts >

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