In memory of Johny – 05/20/2000 – 11/29/2014, the founder of the Great Apes Sanctuary of Paraná/ Anami Institute
Johny was born in 2000 in a zoo and was rejected by his mother. When he was five months old, Anita and Milan Starostik (photo), who had been supporting actions against mistreatment in circuses and zoos since the 1980s, offered to take care of him.
The close experience with the chimpanzee made them realize the importance of providing Johny with a appropriate place for his development and with the opportunity of coexisting with other chimpanzees.
The result was the establishment of the Great Apes Sanctuary of Paraná/Anami Conservationist Institute, in the south of Brazil, which today hosts 24 chimpanzees, one orangutan and several other animals.
Johny lived for nearly fifteen years in the company of five other chimpanzees discovering new experiences, in particular with Caíque, with whom he spent long hours grooming and sunbathing. At age fourteen, he was diagnosed with a congenital heart affliction that required special care. Unfortunately, he did not resist for so long.
“Johny was the beginning of everything, of a struggle that will never die”