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                                     Hilda Tresz                                                                                                   Global Volunteer Work

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Giza Zoo Egypt 

Giza Zoo, Egypt

Fourth Report 

October 6 through October 13, 2018

Goal was:

  • To introduce confiscated female Julia chimpanzee into a group setting
  • Reintroduce solitary female chimpanzee Loza back to any of the original members
  • Revisit the progress of the elephant management


In February 2017, the Supervising Joint Committee of General Organization of Veterinary Services (GOVS), Egypt needed help integrating Julia chimpanzee with others. Unfortunately, at that time there was a US travel ban on Egypt due to civil war. After the ban lifted in 2018, preparations were made for an immediate introduction due to animals being separated for quite a long time.

Team of Investigation bodies and the environment police officers, which included Brigadier Hatem El Kot and Colonels; Wael El Sharkawy and Wael Sheikh, received report about female chimpanzees "Julia" at the age of 15 years, and pair of an African tortoise, female and male, aged about 50 years, and Vervet monkey Sudanese 8 years old inside the villa of a lawyer in Heliopolis Area. Julia was confiscated on February 2, 2017 from the basement of this villa, owned by a lawyer who lived most of the times abroad

After notifying Major General Sabri Beauty Assistant Minister of Interior Environmental Police, and Major-General Yasser El Akkad director of the FBI, they decided issue order to confiscate the animals and decision to deposit the seized animals in Giza Zoo because they are on the Red List of animals banned IUCN and CITES.

The chairman of the Central Administration of Zoos Giza Military General and Doctor Mohamed Ragaii, Dr. Muhammad Abdul Hamid veterinarian, follow up on the health status of the animals seized and put it in a safe place and precautionary measure.

بالصور.. ضبط جوليا أنثى شمبانزى وسلحفاتين نادرتين بفيللا مستشار قانونى في مصر الجديدة




         Loza: 10-year-old female, DOB 2005

 In pairs

    • Prince: 15-year-old male, DOB 2000
    • Engy: 15-year-old female, DOB 2000


    • Meshmesh (Misho): nine-year-old, DOB 2006
    • Julia: Approximately 15-year-old female, confiscated, DOB unknown


    • Doodoo (Dodo): Approximately two-year-old male, DOB 2014
    • Kuku (Koko): 19-year-old male, DOB 1996

Giza Zoo staff needed to separate Meshmesh from Prince and Engy due to aggression between the two males. Female Loza also needed to be separated from Kuku and Doodoo due to Loza attacking adult male Kuku and repeatedly instigating conflict.

In captivity, it is not unusual for a female to attack a male if there is enough support from other members such as little Doodoo. However, large, healthy adult males are usually able to easily defend themselves. Kuku on the other hand, was mildly physically challenged due to his unusually short arms.


Most of the chimpanzees had to be regrouped considering their personalities. It was decided that Julia will be introduced to Prince and Engy while Loza will re-join Meshmesh since they were always on good terms

Dyadic integration started with introducing the two females together in case they need to work out some differences.  

The two females got along well and were left together for the rest of the day. Prince however was apprehensive of being separated from Engy and kept vocalizing and looking for her. At night, the females were separated so Julia could sleep safely and so that Prince could reunite with Engy.

The next morning, the two females were put together again, and then, Julia was introduced to Prince as well.  Both really liked each other and started playing almost immediately.

By the end of the day, all three of them were together and they have been fine ever since.

 African elephant  

It was discussed again that elephants cannot be kept on hard surfaces such as concrete, tile, wooden floor, etc. As per elephant experts, it is a misconception that elephants get colic due to sand impaction. The Phoenix Zoo’s elephant program is proof of it due to having elephants kept on sand over 15 years.

Giza Zoo Management didn’t feel comfortable with giving sand, so it was agreed to provide soil (earth) instead.

The following information was provided:

  • Alan Roocroft- The Sand Invasion
  • Alan Roocroft- Foot Care for Captive Elephants
  • BIAZA- Benefits of Natural Floors for Elephants
  • AZA – Revised Standards Elephant Management Care
  • Phoenix Zoo – Let Them be Elephants (power point presentation was provided during visit already)

This is a new era for the Giza Zoo elephant management. After 127 years of traditional keeping, with the leadership Dr. Ragaii, Dr. Saber and Ms. Zulficar drastic changes are taking place. The exhibit ground was covered with a large amount of soil, a hay net was installed to increase foraging time, two large (2-meter high) soil dunes were installed both into the night house and onto exhibit and a large tree trunk was placed into the yard to break up the monotonous surface.



I would like to thank the Giza Zoo’s director and staff for inviting me to improve their animals’ welfare. I would also like to thank Dr. Mary Lewis for funding this trip and establishing such a wonderful working relationship between the Jane Goodall Institute, the Phoenix Zoo and the Giza Zoo.


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