Chimps in Entertainment
Like pets, chimpanzees who are exploited for human entertainment (in television, movies, circuses, commercials, etc.) have been taken from their mothers at an early age. To perform in these roles, the chimpanzees are made to behave in ways that are not natural to the species and are sometimes painful.
Once chimp entertainers reach adolescence (6 – 10 years old), they are often discarded because they have grown too large and aggressive to manage, leaving them without proper care for the rest of their lifespan.
Most people don’t realize that the chimpanzee grin people seen in movies and commercials is actually an expression of fear.
Chimpanzees in entertainment also negatively impact conservation efforts to help chimpanzees in the wild avoid extinction. When people see chimpanzees in the media they may mistakenly assume that chimpanzees are common and not the endangered species that they are. And when people see the cute young chimpanzees in entertainment, it may encourage and continue to proliferate the pet trade.
For more information about chimpanzees in entertainment, please visit Project ChimpCARE.