National Anti-vivisection Society


National Antivisection Society

Animal rescues

Saved from the circus, Toto heads to Africa

Toto was snatched from the wild in Africa as a baby. Aged just 2-3 years old, Toto is believed to have been purchased in the USA by Chile’s Circus Konig, along with three other baby chimpanzees. The other three died, leaving Toto alone with the circus for at least twenty years.

Toto was chained by the neck, and his act involved dressing up in human clothes, smoking cigarettes and drinking tea. He was forced to live in isolation, simply to amuse people. He lived in a tiny wooden packing crate little more than a metre wide, with bars on the front. His only comfort during cold days and nights was to huddle beneath a small blanket; he slept surrounded by empty plastic bottles and sweet wrappers. This was how Animal Defenders International (ADI) first encountered Toto.

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Circus Konig on the outskirts of Santiago, Chile.

Our first sight of Toto huddled in his cage.

Toto is taken from the cage ready for a performance.

Toto's living quarters for over 20 years.

Toto gets a veterinary check-up upon arrival.

Toto requires three dental operations.

Toto celebrates his first night of freedom.

The police watch as Toto is seized from the circus.

Toto is sedated by the rescue team vet.

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