Wednesday, February 18, 2009

From the viewpoint of the chimpanzee

They should never be pets.

From the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest:
For those of us who care for chimpanzees, it is difficult not to be angry about this incident. We know that chimpanzees should not be kept as pets - we’ve seen tragedies like this before. We know that chimpanzees should only be kept in secure enclosures. We know that chimpanzees in entertainment are usually discarded after a few years because they become too difficult to “handle.” And we know that chimpanzees are intelligent, social, amazing, and, yes, sometimes violent beings.

There should be laws in place in every state banning the keeping of chimpanzees as pets. Hollywood by choice or by being forced through legislation should never use a chimpanzee in entertainment again. Our hope is that this tragedy will create action to make these things happen, and we will do our part to help.


Steve Bates said...

Thank you, ellroon, for posting this. It astonishes me how many people are unaware how cruel it is to keep an "exotic" pet, and why there are laws against many such pets. It's bad for humans and critters alike... and humans should know better.

I once lived in a neighborhood inhabited by a flock of wild, very colorful parrots, some quite large. Parrots are not indigenous here. The only plausible story I could find was that someone who no longer wanted them had released a couple of breeding pairs many years back, and they indeed managed to breed. (Note: Houston is kinda-sorta tropical; the winters are usually mild and the summers are hot enough for any parrot.) Eventually the flock disappeared, at least from our area; I suspect they died out. It seems grossly unfair to the birds for someone to have released them in a marginal environment, left to survive as best they could.

Anyone inclined to take in exotic pets should think about your chimpanzee story and the story of those parrots... and just not do it. Get a cat or dog instead: those critters have coexisted with humans, to mutual advantage, for thousands of years.

ellroon said...

Southern California is more to their liking. We have several identifiable flocks, luckily more toward the coast. They can strip your fruit trees in minutes...

I'm not fond of parrots, sorry.