Primadomus Center in Relleu, Alicante

Yesterday Jane Goodall, the well known chimpanzee expert and chair of the AAP Foundation, visited the Valencian Regional Government to explain the Foundation’s project to set up a sanctuary for exotic animals in the center of Relleu, a village near the Costa Blanca in the province of Alicante.

The Primadomus Center being built in Relleu on the Costa Blanca will be a Life Time Care Center for apes and monkeys. The project is being developed by the Dutch non-profit organisation AAP, chaired by Jane Goodhall with close links with her own foundation, The Jane Goodall Institute. The AAP organization started 30 years ago taking in animals bought to Europe via illegal trade, and then abandoned by their owners (circus, small zoos, private collectors, animals used in laboratory experiments….). The Primadomus Lifetime Care Center will house those re-socialized groups of animals that can not be re-homed.

According to Jane Goodall, the AAP chose the Costa Blanca region as the ideal place to build the new center because of its climate, transport infrastructure, natural surroundings and its reputation for conserving species (the last reason is quite a surprising one given the frequent forest fires in this area Summer after Summer which are sometimes linked to real estate speculation and destroy the natural habitat of many wild species).

The Mayor of Relleu is firmly against the project, and started to block building plans last month, but last week Jane Goodall appealed to the Spanish Royal Family to put pressure on the local authorities to unblock the project. The Mayor has not explained publically why he opposes Primadomus. Whatever his reasons, the Valencian Government has rejected them, and after meeting with Jane Goodall yesterday, the Valencian Land Minister announced the regional government’s firm support for the Center and he applauded Goodall’s work, the Primadomus project and the choice to build it in the province of Alicante.

Jane Goodall was awarded Spain’s Prince of Asturias Prize for Scientific Research in 2003.