Archive for the ‘Alerts’ Category

Take Action Tuesday! Tell Ramsay to stick to yelling at would-be chefs and leave chimpanzees alone

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

EOA take action tuesday

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay recently posted photos of himself and his family members holding a baby chimpanzee to his Facebook page. The chimpanzee is showing his or her top teeth in this photo, which is actually a fear grin—not a smile.

Chimpanzees are not pets! They are wild animals who should be with their mothers when they are young, and who are dangerous when they get older. Seeing chimpanzees in close contact with humans perpetuates the idea that they can be treated like pets.

We’re so disappointed that Gordon Ramsay is promoting the exotic animal trade rather than using his celebrity status to protect chimpanzees, who are critically endangered in the wild.

We want Gordon Ramsay to remove the Facebook photos of the baby chimpanzee. Please send a polite letter to him, c/o his publicist Staci Wolfe, letting him know that chimps should not be used for photo ops alongside humans. Please urge Ramsay to remove all the photos from his Facebook page and promise to never host a visit with a chimpanzee again.

web-ramsay-screenshot

You may send your letter to Gordon Ramsay c/o Staci Wolfe at staci_wolfe@polarispr.com

Sample Letter to Gordon Ramsay:

Dear Mr. Ramsay:

I was disappointed to hear that you took photos with your family holding a baby chimpanzee and posted them to your Facebook page. You should know that when chimpanzees show their top teeth it is a sign of distress, not happiness.

Chimpanzees provided for photos ops to pose with humans are torn away from their mothers as infants, often repeatedly beaten during training, and then discarded when they become too strong to be managed.

Using a chimpanzee for a photo op sends the message that these amazing beings are simply props. When people see you holding a baby chimpanzee, they assume that chimpanzees make good pets. Though chimpanzees may seem cute and cuddly when infants, they become dangerous as they get older. They are an endangered species that should be protected, not used for entertainment.

Please make the compassionate decision to remove the photos, and pledge to never pose holding baby chimpanzees again. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.

Sincerely,
[Your name here]

If you send an e-mail to Gordon, please remember to BCC Eyes on Apes at EyesOnApes@ChimpsNW.org for tracking purposes. Thank you!

Take Action Tuesday: Chance in Wolf of Wall Street

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

EOA take action tuesday

This action alert went out earlier today. Not on the mailing list? Sign up for Eyes on Apes Take Action list today to get these alerts straight to your inbox!

In the upcoming movie Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio is seen holding an infant chimpanzee, Chance. It is especially disappointing because Mr. DiCaprio is known for his passion for animal conservation—most recently he supported conservation efforts to save tigers in Nepal.

Animal advocacy groups have contacted Mr. DiCaprio and the movie producers, however our efforts to reach out have not resulted in Chance’s scenes getting removed from the movie. Now it is time for the public to speak up!

wolf-of-wall-st-screen-shot

Chance was once a pet, and his previous owners discarded him to a pseudo-sanctuary called the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary. The animal attraction claims to be a reserve for animals, but they regularly exploit their residents for entertainment purposes. In fact, Chance’s owners (the Rosaire-Zoppe family) are the only remaining trainers that continue to use chimpanzees in circuses. No respectable reserve or animal sanctuary would lease out their animals for media productions such as this movie.

Even if the AHA was present for filming, they have no authority over Chance’s treatment off-set, making the “no animals were harmed” disclaimer misleading.

Portraying chimpanzees as cute and cuddly attractions seriously misinforms the public on the true nature of these beings and perpetuates the pet and entertainment industries. Studies have shown that showing chimpanzees alongside humans in film and TV mask their endangered status, and these scenes hurt conservation efforts.

Despite hearing these facts from advocacy groups, the Wolf of Wall Street producers have not removed Chance’s scenes from the movie, which will be released on December 25. We encourage you to please post on the movie’s poster on their Facebook page and Twitter to let them know that because of the issues with Chance’s scenes you will not be going to see the movie, and you will tell all your friends to boycott it with you.

Sample Facebook Post:

I’m boycotting Wolf of Wall Street because of the chimpanzee scenes! Even Hollywood knows that abuse occurs when animals are used in movies (hollywoodreporter.com/feature). Chimpanzees don’t belong in movies unless they are CGI. Chimpanzees are an endangered species and showing them as cute and cuddly props hurts conservation efforts and perpetuates the pet trade.

Sample Tweets:

Pls RT! Join @EyesOnApes and tell @LeoDiCaprio chimps should not be in movies & you won’t see @TheWolfofWallSt!

RT! @LeoDiCaprio I will boycott @TheWolfofWallSt because of Chance’s scenes. Chimps do not belong in movies! EyesOnApes.org

Don’t support animal abuse. Refuse to see @LeoDiCaprio in @TheWolfofWallSt and tell all your friends. EyesOnApes.org Pls RT!

The final thing you can do to help Chance is to spread the word! Please share this alert on social media and encourage your friends to boycott the movie with you.

Take Action Tuesday: Urban Tarzan

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

EOA take action tuesday

The new Spike TV show called Urban Tarzan is all about wild animals found in human environments. Though the series has a whole slew of wild animals, the premiere episode from a few weeks ago featured a young chimpanzee actor. The show is supposed to be a reality series, but everything is scripted and the scenes are all staged.

Chimpanzee "actor" on the premiere episode of Urban Tarzan

Chimpanzee “actor” on the premiere episode of Urban Tarzan

There is a growing public awareness about the ethical problems with using chimpanzees in entertainment. Please remind the producers of the show about these issues by sending them a polite letter. Ask them to remove the episode from the air and pledge to never use primates in their productions again. Your letters can make a difference! In the last couple months both Great Clips and CR Fashion Book have removed content with chimpanzee actors after receiving educational letters from advocates like you!

Let the producers of Urban Tarzan know that brutal training practices in the entertainment industry are well documented. Remind them that in addition to welfare concerns, using chimpanzees in the media seriously hinders conservation efforts of free-living chimpanzees.

You may submit your comments to Spike TV’s Facebook page, or post Tweets that express your concern, such as @1UrbanTarzan very disappointed to see a chimp in your show. Please remove the episode! www.EyesOnApes.org

Sample Letter to Spike TV/Urban Tarzan:

I was extremely disappointed to hear that Urban Tarzan featured a young chimpanzee actor in the first episode. You should know that chimpanzees used in entertainment are torn away from their mothers as infants, often repeatedly beaten during training, and then discarded when they become too strong to be managed.

The show is supposed to be about rescuing wild animals from human homes, but since it is staged you are not following your own advice! Chimpanzees do not belong in human homes and they do not belong on TV either. Aside from welfare concerns, their appearance in the media seriously hinders conservation efforts. Surely you are aware that chimpanzees are endangered species in critical need of protection?

Please make the compassionate decision to remove the chimpanzee episode from rotation, and please consider to never exploit great apes for entertainment purposes again. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.

Sincerely,

[Your name here]

Learn More about Eyes on Apes

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

EOA take action tuesday

OK, so this isn’t a real Take Action Tuesday post, but check out that spiffy new banner!

Speaking of new things, you really should go check out the Eyes on Apes website. It’s gotten a whole new makeover with an updated homepage (www.eyesonapes.org) and is chock-full of lots of great information on the Learn More pages. There’s a different page on the each issue that apes face, and they all have links throughout the bullet points—be sure to check those out. There’s some PDFs of scholarly articles and links to conservation strategies and action plans that make for really great resources. Also under the Learn More section is a page about Useful Links, and the name doesn’t lie! Lots of great info on other sites that you can check out to further your education.

I updated the Videos page too, so take a look at those… and also of this one below that we’ve put together to promote the program. Share it with your friends and get them to join Eyes on Apes and make a difference for apes everywhere!

Take Action Tuesday: Another chimp ad + how to help orangutans

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

If you haven’t heard, Great Clips had a commercial a couple weeks ago that featured a chimpanzee. Just a day after our alert went out and folks wrote to them, the CEO made a statement saying they would pull the ad and never work with apes again! Victories like this keep the momentum going—your letter writing really does make a difference! On that note please send a quick message to Steak ‘n Shake, who currently has a commercial with a chimpanzee:

Screen capture of the Steak 'n Shake "ultimate dream" commercial

Screen capture of the Steak ‘n Shake “Daydream” commercial

Click on this link to be taken to the action alert which contains contact information and a sample letter. Be sure to spread the word and forward the alert to your friends! And if you haven’t subscribed to our Take Action: Eyes on Apes Alerts mailing list already, sign up now.

Another way you can help apes right now is to sign this petition to Dr. Oz, who recommended his viewers try using palm oil as a healthy alternative oil. Please let him and his producers know that palm oil production is slowly driving orangutans into extinction! For more information about this issue, take a look at this past Take Action Tuesday post.

Thank you as always for speaking up for these apes. Keep up the great work!

News from the NIH Working Group on Chimpanzees

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

There was an important meeting today in DC, reporting the recommendations of a working group that has been looking very carefully at the federal funding of chimpanzees in research (you can read more about the working group here). Although the recommendations will still be reviewed by the NIH and undergo a public comment period prior to becoming “official,” it’s an exciting change on the horizon for our chimpanzee friends, including Jody’s son Levi.

The recommendations reflect the writing on the wall  – that the US is heading in the same direction that the rest of the world has already gone – toward phasing out the use of chimpanzees in research. While not an outright ban, the recommendations call for a significant number of the chimpanzees owned and supported by the government to be permanently retired. Any research that would be allowed under the recommendations released today would have to occur in vastly different environments than those in which chimpanzees are currently kept. Here are a few main points:

  • Most current biomedical use of chimpanzees should end. Some behavioral and genomic research might be able to continue (pending meeting other new requirements below).
  • The chimpanzees not needed for federal research should be retired to appropriate sanctuaries through the Federal Sanctuary System, and the federal government has an obligation to pay for this retirement.
  • The Working Group carefully and closely defined “ethologically appropriate” conditions, under which all federally owned and supported chimpanzees must be kept. These include physical and social requirements such as group makeup and enclosure size. No current laboratory environment meets these requirements.
  • There is no need for a large reserve colony of chimpanzees to be maintained for “unknown unknowns” – meaning some unexpected virus or emergent disease that we don’t know about yet. They did discuss the need for a small (50 chimpanzees) reserve colony to be housed in one facility and meeting the ethologically appropriate requirements.
  • An independent oversight committee should have final review and approval authority on any chimpanzee research proposals that make it through the NIH funding process. This committee would ensure that any projects being funded meet all of the criteria set forth.

You can read the full report here. Again, it’s not an outright ban. But no one expected that. It is overall a very good set of recommendations that sets very high standards for taking care of chimpanzees, and it signals an impending end to their use and exploitation.  I have to admit that my eyes welled up a little while listening to the meeting, thinking about the potential to help so many more chimpanzees. So much has changed, for the better, since I first started taking care of chimpanzees (over 15 years ago!). I see a day when we’re done with all this stuff, and I never dreamed of that 15 years ago.

It’ll probably be April before the NIH makes a final decision on these recommendations, and we’ll be sure to share links for public comment so that you can lend your voice on behalf of the Cle Elum Seven, their friends and relatives, and chimpanzees across the country.

 

Take Action Tuesday: Great Clips commercial

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

As we’ve mentioned before, despite a growing public awareness about the plight of chimpanzees in entertainment, they are still being exploited for a cheap laugh. Recently, Great Clips (a nationwide hair salon franchise) aired a commercial launching their new feature, “Clip Notes” with a chimpanzee toward the end. The chimpanzee is seen exhibiting a “fear grimace” – a sign that they were likely beaten or abused prior to the commercial’s production.

great clips

Screenshot of Great Clips’ new ad on YouTube

Please write to Great Clips to ask them to pull the commercial from the air and pledge to never work with apes again.

Sample Letter to Great Clips:
rhoda.olsen@greatclips.com, CEO

Dear Ms. Olsen:

I was shocked and disappointed to hear that Great Clips has a commercial that features a young chimpanzee. You should know that chimpanzees used in entertainment are torn away from their mothers as infants, often repeatedly beaten during training, and then discarded when they become too strong to be managed.

Using a chimpanzee for a cheap laugh sends the message that these amazing beings are simply props. Surely you are aware that chimpanzees are endangered species in critical need of protection? You are exploiting chimpanzees for your own profits and this is an unacceptable business practice.

Please make the compassionate decision to remove the chimpanzee from your commercial, and please consider to never exploit great apes for entertainment purposes again. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.

You may also submit your comments to their Facebook page, or post Tweets that express your concern, such as: @GreatClips I was disappointed to see a chimp in your ad for #clipnotes. Please remove the ad! www.chimpsnw.org

**If you send a letter, please BCC EyesOnApes@ChimpsNW.org for tracking purposes. Thank you!

Take Action Tuesday: Stop Casey from continuing to house chimps

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Last week in Las Vegas, Clark County held a hearing about whether Mike Casey should be granted a permit to continue to house his exotic animals in an RV in his backyard. Casey is the person responsible for breeding and selling Travis, the chimpanzee who mauled Charla Nash in Connecticut in 2009.

Chimpanzees, as we know, should be with their mothers when they are young. Though no chimpanzee should have to live in captivity, since they can’t be returned to the wild they should live in a sanctuary where their social, psychological, and physical needs can be met. And, of course, no chimpanzee should ever be forced to perform. Casey has bred chimpanzees like Travis who have become pets or used by the entertainment industry.

Casey has a record of abuse. He has reportedly beaten his chimps with his fists, thrown hot water on them, and hit them with a rod.

Angel showing a fear grimace (a facial expression in chimpanzees that indicates fear or abuse). Angel was in a training facility and was leased out for entertainment---not unlike the lives of the chimps bred by Mike Casey.

Angel, pictured here, was at a training facility for chimps leased out for entertainment purposes—TV ads, shows, kids’ parties. (Not unlike the lives of chimps bred by Mike Casey). Here she is showing a fear grimace, simply at the sight of the camera. This facial expression for chimpanzees indicates fear or abuse. After serving several years as an “actor,” Angel was luckily rescued by the Center for Great Apes.

Chimpanzees are wild animals, and they can and will bite. It is within their nature to be violently aggressive, even toward their closest friends. As we know in the case of Travis, humans are simply not built to take the aggression that chimps can inflict on others. Housing chimpanzees so close to human homes is dangerous.

Despite these issues, Casey made his case to the Enterprise Town Advisory Board, and the permit request is moving forward to the County Commission on November 21st. Act now and suggest that the county deny his request. Ask that the chimpanzees be sent to a reputable sanctuary where they belong. You can use the sample letter below or write one of your own. Send it to County Commission District G at ccdistg@ClarkCountyNV.gov and encourage your friends to write, also!

Sample letter to Clark County Commissioners:

I am greatly concerned about James “Mike” Casey’s permit application to house chimpanzees on his property. This is a danger to the nearby residents. Chimpanzees have been known to escape and attack humans, causing severe injuries. One infamous case is of Travis, one of the chimpanzees Casey bred, who was shot after he attacked his neighbor and nearly ripped her face off.

In addition to public safety concerns, the welfare of these individual chimpanzees is also at stake. Casey has a history of animal abuse. The chimpanzees are housed in small, reportedly unsanitary conditions. They should be where their physical, psychological, and social needs can be met. A reputable sanctuary would dedicate resources to ensuring quality lifetime care for these chimpanzees. It is what they deserve.

I hope the Commission will choose to make the compassionate and safe decision to deny the permit to keep these chimpanzees in a residential neighborhood. Thank you for your consideration of my comments.

**If you send an email, please don’t forget to BCC PrimatePatrol@ChimpSanctuaryNW.org for tracking purposes**

Take Action Tuesday: Help out chimps in entertainment

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Though the nation’s top ad agencies as well as several companies have pledged to never use great apes in commercials because of public outcry, there are still chimpanzees being actively used in entertainment, forced to perform for a cheap laugh. Last November, a TV show on Nick Jr. called the Fresh Beat Band featured an episode with two young chimpanzees, dressed in human clothes, side-by-side with humans. Since this show is geared toward children, it could potentially influence young minds to believe that having a chimpanzee as a pet in a human household is an acceptable—and even fun—thing to do. Portraying chimpanzees as cute and cuddly attractions seriously misinforms the public about their true nature. As you may remember from a few years ago, Travis, a “pet” chimpanzee, brutally mauled a woman—which was not surprising for those who are chimpanzee experts and know that they should not live with humans due to their natural aggressive behavior. Very recently, reports came from Japan about an entertainment chimpanzee who attacked a woman. Chimpanzees simply do not belong in a human environment! Since this episode of the Fresh Beat Band is still running on Nick Jr., it is still influencing children into thinking pet ownership is OK. Please write to the producer to ask them to pull the episode from rotation and pledge to never work with apes again.

Sample letter to write to the producer of the Fresh Beat Band: scott@popskull.net

I recently became aware that last November, you aired an episode of the Fresh Beat Band with young chimpanzees dressed in human clothing, and that the episode is still airing. You should know that great apes used in entertainment are torn away from their mothers as infants, often repeatedly beaten during training, and then discarded when they become too strong to be managed.

Showing a chimpanzee side-by-side with humans sends the message that they are cute and cuddly attractions, and especially since your show is targeted toward children, your audience is easily influenced by what you portray. Chimpanzees do not make good pets as they should be with their mothers when they’re young, and when they are older they become very strong and are potentially violent. Surely you have heard about recent chimp attacks in the news? This episode portrays chimpanzees in a human environment, making it seem like pet ownership is OK when it is not.

Please make the compassionate decision to stop re-running the episode called “Chimps in Charge,” and please consider to never exploit great apes for entertainment purposes again. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.

Live action TV shows and films that feature entertainment chimpanzees are not the only forms of media that can have an influence on public perception—print ads are just as influential. Tieks, a popular shoe company, has several pictures from a photo shoot done with an infant chimpanzee a couple years ago posted on their Facebook page. The images can potentially mislead people into thinking that chimpanzees dressed up in clothes, “smiling,” and being side-by-side with humans is funny. Unfortunately, the “smile” we see on greeting cards as well as in television shows, advertisements, and movies is not funny at all—it’s a fear response. Please ask Tieks to take the photos of a young chimpanzee off their Facebook page, and encourage them to make a pledge to never use chimpanzees in future marketing campaigns.

Sample letter to write to Tieks shoe company: caitlyn@tieks.com

I was shocked and disappointed to hear that there are images on your Facebook page of a chimpanzee dressed in human clothes and “smiling” with their top teeth. In reality, that is a “fear grimace”—chimpanzees make this face when they are afraid, which indicates that this chimpanzees has likely been threatened or abused during their training.

Using a chimpanzee for a cheap laugh sends the message that these amazing beings are simply props. Surely you are aware that chimpanzees are endangered species in critical need of protection? You are exploiting chimpanzees for your own profits and this is an unacceptable business practice.

Please make the compassionate decision to remove the photos currently posted on your Facebook page. They are scattered throughout several of your albums. I also hope that you will commit to never using images that exploit great apes for promotion purposes again. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter, and I look forward to your response.

**If you send a letter to the Fresh Beat Band producer and/or Tieks, please BCC PrimatePatrol@ChimpSanctuaryNW.org for tracking purposes. Thank you!

Take Action: Good news for CJ, and how to help Crystal

Friday, August 10th, 2012

I am shocked it’s already Friday! With Foxie’s birthday being this week and our (successful!) fundraising drive, this week’s Take Action Tuesday post was a little delayed—but not forgotten!

Last month, we were once again reminded about the tragedy behind keeping chimpanzees as pets. CJ and Buddy, two pet chimps from Las Vegas, escaped from their backyard cage. Though CJ survived the ordeal, Buddy was sadly shot to death. Chimpanzees are not safe as pets, and they can and will bite. They are capable of terrible damage, as seen from the infamous incident with Travis and Charla Nash a few years ago.

Thankfully, last week CJ’s owners decided the best thing for her would be to send her to a reputable sanctuary that would be dedicated to providing quality lifetime care. Chimps, Inc. has agreed to take CJ and give her a home where she can be with other chimpanzees and live in an environment that will fit her needs.

This is great news for CJ, but it is also a reminder of the remaining chimpanzees in the U.S. that are kept as pets and used for entertainment purposes. Chimpanzees are portrayed on TV and in movies as cute and cuddly attractions, which seriously misinforms the public about the true nature of these beings and perpetuates the pet trade.

This problem is not just unique to chimpanzees—monkeys are also very prominent in the media, and it is estimated that thousands of monkeys are kept as pets in this country. Unfortunately, NBC is planning on airing an entire series featuring a capuchin monkey, Crystal, in their upcoming premiere of Animal Practice. Although the show doesn’t start until the fall, NBC is airing a special sneak preview episode immediately following the closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games on Sunday night. Please don’t watch it, and tell your friends not to also! Read this Action Alert to find out how you can speak up for Crystal. Post on the show’s Facebook page, send tweets to your followers telling them not to watch it, and send an email to the Chairman of NBC expressing your feelings about the exploitation of Crystal.

Sadly, this show will only perpetuate the unfortunate pet trade when people watch a monkey living with a human for a companion. The truth is that their complex social, psychological, and physical needs simply cannot be met in a human environment. Nonhuman primates are not meant for our world, and captivity is never an ideal place for any monkey or ape. Take Action today to help Crystal (and join our mailing list, too, to get alerts right in your inbox).