ANIMAL lovers are fighting to save a British chimpanzee from being killed by fellow apes at a German zoo.

Activists say that Bili the bonobo should be bought back home to England after he had bite marks in his head and his ear was ripped off.

The savage attack on the ten-year-old chimp has prompted a passionate campaign by activists to get Bili out of Wuppertal Zoo in Frankfurt, Germany.

As well as missing part of his ear, the savage attack left him bloodied and cowering in his enclosure.

However, the zoo is still hoping that Bili can be integrated with their own chimp family and so far are rejecting the appeal.

It was launched by animal lover Petra Bente who wants to see the ape sent to the "Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre" near Bovington, in Dorset, in England.

She said that he had been severely traumatised since being sent to the German zoo after being born in October 2008 in an English zoo.

She said that his mother Maringa had not really cared for him, and as a result of not protecting him as he was growing up and he was therefore flown to Frankfurt in January 2009.

There he was adopted by loving female chimps in Frankfurt who have experience in dealing with unwanted youngsters.

He felt happier and was well integrated, but despite that in autumn last year was sent to Wuppertal Zoo at the recommendation of the Specialist Group of the European Zoological Community and the European Conservation Breeding Program.

The zoo's Deputy Director Severin Dressget said that he was not allowed to breed by the Frankfurt group and as a result had been sent to them.

He said: "This was done with the aim of integrating him into the existing group and thus to contribute to the preservation of the highly endangered bonobos by breeding."