-About Chimpanzees in Entertainment-
Since the Sanctuary Project was founded, it has strived
to communicate the current and future problems of chimpanzees in entertainment.
1. Important Infanthood
Generally, chimpanzees in entertainment, such as animal shows, TV programs,
or commercial events, are at the age of 2-6. They are taken from their
mothers at birth and raised by trainers. (Some of them are babies which
have been rejected by their mothers.)
To make a strong bond between them and their trainers, they are isolated
from other chimpanzees. During the training, they are taught how to
act like a human by dressing in human clothes, waving their hands and
making bows for example. For normal young chimpanzees, it is extremely
important to learn from their mothers what they need to survive and
how to deal with other chimpanzees. Chimpanzees can't grow into real
members of the chimpanzee group unless they are suitably brought up
by their mothers and other chimpanzee company. Chimpanzees in entertainment
are denied this upbringing.
2. Training for Entertainment
Trainers, managers, and TV producers often force chimpanzees to act
out scenarios, no matter what the chimpanzees want to do. Therefore,
physical and psychological abuse can be used to make them behave well
as talented "entertainers." However, chimpanzees have only
a short working life of less than 10 years. After this, they become
too strong and unmanageable, and have to retire from entertainment.
3. After Retirement
Can ex-entertainment chimpanzees live as humans all their lives through?
Can they get along with other chimpanzees easily without learning the
rules of chimpanzee society? Even if they are fortuonate enough to have
the chance to get back into a Chimpanzee group after retirement, most
ex-entertainment Chimpanzees have difficulties being with other chimpanzees
for lack of experience with other chimpanzees. In many cases, they are
lonely for the rest of their lives.
4. The misunderstood role of entertainment Chimpanzees in education.
There is a commonly held opinion that Chimpanzees on TV shows and commercials
leads to increased public awareness of animals. However, by humanizing
Chimpanzees, viewers are misled about the true nature of the chimpanzee.
To protect this endangered species, it is important to show and educate
the pubic about their natural state.
Because of these reasons, we don't agree with the use
chimpanzees in entertainment.
Chimpanzees are attractive creatures. However, they
don't behave like humans.
Their natural methods of communication and group relationships are extremely
interesting in their own right. We recommend that zoos with chimpanzees
try to engineer a wider range of situations whereby Chimpanzees can
congregate in groups to learn from each other and show a truer representation
of their lifestyle in the wild. Above all, we recommend and encourage
public outreach which spreads correct understanding about chimpanzees