The grim discovery of seven chimp heads and 30 legs alongside a terrified youngster, still alive, were found last weekend during raids on wildlife traffickers in Cameroon, central West Africa.
Wildlife campaigners LAGA arrested two men, who were believed to have been trying to take their sick cargo across the border to Nigeria.
A LAGA spokesman said the illegal trade in great apes was “transnational specialised and organised.”
“Such horrific sights are common in the numerous arrest operations of ape traffickers carried this year.
“Sources close to the latest case say the two arrested traffickers had been supplying dozens of chimpanzee heads which are transported to Nigeria.
“All they need is for the client to place orders early enough for the poaching to provide the necessary quantities.”
The men have admitted the offence, which means they could face a maximum of three years behind bars.
He continued: “Harrowing indeed and something traffickers had successfully put out of the view of enforcement officials.
“While the focus had been on the meat, a more sinister and dangerous trade had been ongoing.
“It never gets worse than this for the great apes.”