Sanctuary Project

-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 in Japan.

907-19 Miike
Omuta, Oita 837-0921

©Sanctuary Project 2006