Archive for the ‘Primate Patrol’ Category

Take Action Tuesday: Raising Hope

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

There have been a few commercials lately with chimpanzees, but it’s been awhile since we’ve heard of one in a television or film production. However, a couple weeks ago the show Raising Hope aired a two-part episode with two different chimpanzees, one of whom is a very young baby. Additionally, earlier in the season they aired an episode with a capuchin monkey. In sum, Raising Hope has aired three different episodes recently each with a different primate actor.

chimp raising hope

Baby chimpanzee featured in “Yo Zappa Do: Part 1” of Raising Hope

older chimp raising hope

A different, older chimpanzee featured in “Yo Zappa Do: Part 2”

monkey raising hope

Capuchin monkey featured earlier in the season

Let the producers know that this is unacceptable, as there are many issues surrounding the use of primates in entertainment. Your letters do make a difference! Several companies and advertising agencies have pledged to no longer work with apes after learning the truth from concerned advocates (most recently Great Clips).

Please send a polite letter to the creator and executive producer of Raising Hope (Greg Garcia) and ask that they pledge to never work with apes again. Submit your comments to the Raising Hope Facebook page, and share this blog with your friends asking them to do the same!

Sample Facebook Comment:

Dear Mr. Garcia:

I was shocked and saddened to hear that Raising Hope had recent episodes featuring two different chimpanzees and a capuchin monkey. You should know that primates used in entertainment are torn away from their mothers as infants. Chimpanzees especially are often beaten during training and then discarded when they become too strong to be managed.

Using primates 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? Please make the compassionate decision to never exploit primates for entertainment purposes again. I certainly will not watch the show until you do, and will tell all my friends to do the same. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.

You may also post Tweets that express your concern, such as: Please RT! @RaisingHopeFOX disappointed to see chimp in your show, I won’t watch it until you pledge to never use primates again #raisinghope

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:, 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!

**If you send a letter, please BCC for tracking purposes. Thank you!

Take Action Tuesday: Decision in Las Vegas tomorrow

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Recently, Converse shoes had a poster in the UK subways featuring a fear-grimacing chimpanzee. After hearing from concerned advocates, they pulled the ads! And, they agreed to never use primates in promotions again. This great news demonstrates that letter writing really is very powerful, and every letter counts.

Since your letters make a difference for our chimpanzee friends, please take a minute to write a letter to the Clark County commissioners to urge them to deny Mike Casey’s permit application to continue to house his chimps in a residential neighborhood in Las Vegas. If you have already written a letter, please share the alert! You can use the sample letter as an example, or use your own words. Be sure to emphasize that this is not only a public safety concern, but it also the right thing to do. Chimpanzees don’t belong in back yards, at birthday parties, at car dealer openings, or on film sets. Captive chimpanzees suffer in these situations, and they belong in sanctuaries that can meet their needs. They get better when they get to a sanctuary (see Jamie below for proof of that). There is sanctuary space available for these chimps.

Here are just two examples of the way chimpanzees are affected by being in Mike Casey’s life:

  • Travis, born at Mike Casey’s former facility in Missouri and sold as a “pet” to a woman in suburban Connecticut, escaped from his owner, mauled a woman, and died after being stabbed by his owner with a butcher knife and then shot by police.
  • A trainer hit a chimpanzee on the German set of the movie Speed Racer (a production for which Mike Casey’s company was responsible) in front of an “animal welfare” monitor. You can read the full review at (and look for ratings and reviews – they don’t make it easy to link to specific reviews!).

The hearing is tomorrow – so don’t wait, write your letter today!

And for a reminder of what sanctuary can do, take Jamie (a former “entertainer”). Here she was in June 2008, shortly after her arrival:


And here she is now:

Speak up on behalf of Jamie and all the chimpanzees out there who still need our help.

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 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 for tracking purposes**

Take Action Tuesday: Sign our petition! Retire all 110 NIH chimps

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

As we discussed last week, the National Institute of Health (NIH) recently announced that they are “retiring” 110 chimps from the New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) in Louisiana. Ten of those chimpanzees are going to Chimp Haven, a sanctuary not far from NIRC. The other 100? They are going to Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio. Though they say they won’t be used in any more invasive testing, this isn’t a true “retirement.” The chimpanzees should be going to a sanctuary like Chimp Haven or the other six members of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA).

Please sign our petition to the NIH and help give these 100 chimps a retirement in a true sanctuary. Then spread the petition by sending it to your contacts via email and posting on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Show the NIH that the public cares about chimpanzees and that we insist former biomedical chimpanzees go to true sanctuaries.

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:

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:

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 for tracking purposes. Thank you!

Take Action Tuesday: Time is running out for H.R. 1513/S. 810

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest supports the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act. Watch this newscast from PCRM and, if you agree, Take Action. PCRM has a link at the bottom of the video to find a form you can use to contact your representatives to share your opinion.

Already written your letter? Share this post with everyone you know. Post it on Facebook, Twitter, and send via e-mail. Get the word out that GAPCSA needs more support to move forward in the current session of congress. If this bill passes, it would release all federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries. After going through invasive medical testing (which is mostly unnecessary according to the Institute of Medicine) they deserve to be retired. Just see what sanctuary life can do for chimpanzees like Negra.

Here are a few bullet points that you can include in your letter to congress:

  • Chimpanzees actively used in biomedical research are routinely tested on—undergoing surgeries, infected with deadly viruses, and injected with vaccines. They are very intelligent and suffer from immense psychological distress due to lack of proper socialization, separation from their mothers when infants, and absence of mental stimulation.
  • Evidence has shown that although chimpanzees are indeed genetically very similar to humans, they are a poor research model for many diseases due to basic molecular differences between the two species. For instance, chimpanzees infected with HIV do not acquire AIDS, which makes them a poor medical model for finding an HIV/AIDS vaccine for humans.
  • Many chimpanzees are currently warehoused and are not actively being used in testing, but it is still costing taxpayers millions of dollars to house them. Retiring them to sanctuaries will not only provide higher quality living conditions and care, but it will save taxpayer money.


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).

Take Action Tuesday: GAPCSA Progress

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

As you may have heard last week, thanks to all the public support for the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee favorably approved the bill (S. 810). This is a huge step forward, but we aren’t done yet! Though GAPCSA has been approved by the committee, it has not passed in the Senate—yet. With your support, we can move even farther ahead in helping release chimpanzees from invasive biomedical research. Visit Project Release & Restitution’s website to find details on how to keep the ball rolling.

Take Action Tuesday Post #1

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

For the past few months, I’ve been working on broadening our advocacy program, Primate Patrol, which currently focuses on the use of chimpanzees in entertainment. Our goal is to be a good resource for information about all chimpanzee issues, and to provide ways for you to take action and help. Stay tuned in the coming months for lots of great new stuff!

If you aren’t already subscribed to our Take Action newsletter list, please sign up today! Help us spread the word by getting your friends to sign up, too!

Now that I’ve introduced our plans for expansion, I’ll start what will be a regular blog entry: Take Action Tuesday. Every week, I will post advocacy related news and ways you can help.

This week’s topic is about roadside zoos and pseudo-sanctuaries, often a dumping ground for ex-pet or ex-entertainment chimps. This video on Facebook shows two chimps, Rocky and Kelby, who were both used in entertainment. Kelby was in movies such as Babe, Pig in the City and Buddy. Rocky was once owned by former chimp trainer Sid Yost. As you can see in the video, the cages are small and dirty.

Rocky and Kelby have lived in a number of different facilities. These two are currently living at Suncoast Primate Sanctuary (AKA Chimp Farm) – a substandard roadside zoo that puts its residents on display.

Suncoast Primate Sanctuary is also home to at least one infant chimpanzee. Many roadside zoos breed animals and advertise the babies as attractions. Facilities that breed their animals are perpetuating the sad cycle of captivity. The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.) is another pseudo-sanctuary, home to the orangutan Suryia (who was used in a commercial). The Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, run by the last remaining circus trainers (the Rosaire-Zoppes) is home to Ricky the chimpanzee (featured on a book cover). All of these facilities breed their exotic animals and continue to exploit them for entertainment purposes. Reputable sanctuaries do not intentionally breed—producing babies whose fate is a lifetime of confinement is simply wrong.

What can you do to help chimps in roadside zoos? Speak up for these exploited animals, and spread the word. If a friend sends you a “cute” picture of a baby chimpanzee holding a tiger cub, take a moment to educate them about the truth behind pseudo-sanctuaries that promote those types of photos (See below for a sample message to send to your friends). Do your research before donating to any sanctuary and support rescue organizations that are committed to providing quality lifetime care.

Sample response to “cute” pictures from a pseudo-sanctuary:

Sadly, this picture is not cute and cuddly as it may appear. Portraying these exotic animals as cute and cuddly attractions seriously misinforms people about the true nature of these beings and perpetuates the pet and entertainment industries. Simply put, chimpanzees are not meant for our world and should not be in captivity. Infant chimpanzees should be with their chimpanzee mothers — not tiger cubs, dogs, or humans. Unfortunately, the facilities where these pictures originate are breeding exotic animals, which leads to a lifetime of unwarranted imprisonment for those animals. No respectable sanctuary would intentionally breed, nor would they put their animals on display or exploit them for entertainment purposes.