Famous Dutch biologist faces jail time



Dutch monkey researcher Marc van Roosmalen faces 14 years in a Brazilian prison. He has been convicted of failing to apply for a licence for the monkey refuge at his home in the Amazon region of Brazil. Mr Van Roosmalen, hailed in 2000 by Time Magazine as a “hero for the planet”, is appealing against the sentence. Living and working for years in the Amazon, he has discovered several new species of monkey, one of which reminded him of Prince Bernhard. He named it “Callicebus Bernhardi” and five years ago he visited Soestdijk Palace to inform the now dearly departed prince in person.

Bert de Boer, director of Apenheul, a zoo and conservation organisation in Apeldoorn, Gelderland describes Mr Van Roosmalen as “A great conservationist.” He suspects that big companies have bribed the government to act against the vociferous biologist.

(Link: Radio Netherlands)


  1. Mason Fischer says:

    Journalists and the media should pick up this story. This is truly a travesty of justice and a story that needs to be told.

    Marc’s plight is in keeping with the likes of Chico Mendes and others who have fought to save the Brazilian Amazon from politicians, developers and destruction. On top of that he is one of the most accomplished field biologists of our time, a modern-day Alexander von Humboldt who discovered numerous species new to science.

    Marc has done a tremendous service to Brazil in educating the world about Brazil’s natural heritage, and now he’s in a prison in Manaus for sheltering orphaned primates? Who knows what wealth of knowledge about the Amazon and new discoveries will be lost without him. Perhaps that’s what his enemies want.

    Marc van Roosmalen’s story deserves to be told, and hopefully he can be saved.

  2. Kyle says:

    I agree. There was an article this summer in Wired Magazine about it, it was fantastic. I was grieved by the injustice brought upon this man, who clearly was not doing anything illegal.

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