Chimpanzees who are exploited for human entertainment (television, movies, circuses, commercials, etc.) have been taken from their mothers at an early age. They are then forced to behave in ways that are not natural and are sometimes painful. Chimpanzee entertainers may be beaten, shocked, drugged or have their teeth pulled out. Once they reach adolescence, they are discarded, because they have grown too large and aggressive to manage.
Most people don’t realize that the chimpanzee grin people find so amusing and cute in movies and commercials is actually an expression of fear.
In addition to the negative impact on the chimpanzees’ welfare, the use of chimpanzees in entertainment has another serious consequence. When people see chimpanzees in the media, dressed up in clothes or made to look silly, they mistakenly assume that chimpanzees are common and not the endangered species that they are. This negatively impacts conservation efforts to help chimpanzees in the wild avoid extinction.
For more information on chimpanzees in entertainment, please visit Project ChimpCARE.