Archive for the ‘Take Action Tuesday’ Category

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!


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 ( 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!

Don’t support animal abuse. Refuse to see @LeoDiCaprio in @TheWolfofWallSt and tell all your friends. 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: Billy chimp on Chelsea Lately

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

EOA take action tuesday

This Action Alert was sent out today to our Eyes on Apes Take Action list—have you joined? Sign up for the list today to get these alerts straight to your inbox!

Many of you might have seen that a chimpanzee named Billy was on the show Chelsea Lately last week. Billy was seen rocking and showing his top teeth—a clear sign of distress. The show said they would have Billy back the next night, and despite hearing from thousands of people to please not air Billy again, they went ahead with the segment anyway.

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 12.18.45 PM

We want to continue to put pressure on the show and on Chelsea Handler, the host of the show. Please send a polite letter to her, c/o Tom Brunelle, letting her know that chimps like Billy should not be used in entertainment. Not only are there numerous welfare concerns, but seeing chimpanzees alongside humans perpetuates the pet trade. Studies also show that since chimpanzees are so prevalent in media, people aren’t aware of their endangered status. Please speak up for Billy and all chimpanzees still used in entertainment and ask Chelsea to issue a mea culpa about Billy’s appearance and promise to never use apes on her production again.

You may send your letter to the Chelsea Handler c/o Tom Brunelle at

Sample Letter to Chelsea Lately:

Dear Ms. Handler:

I was disappointed to hear that Chelsea Lately had Billy the chimpanzee on the show, and despite hearing from concerned advocates, aired a second appearance by Billy. 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.

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?

Please make the compassionate decision to issue a mea culpa for airing Billy’s segments two nights in a row, and pledge to never exploit great apes for entertainment purposes again. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.

[Your name here]
[Your city & state]

If you send an e-mail to Chelsea, please remember to BCC Eyes on Apes at for tracking purposes. Thank you!

Take Action Tuesday: New children’s book exploits Anjana and tiger cubs

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

EOA take action tuesday

Exploitation comes in many forms, and, unfortunately, it isn’t always obvious at first glance. Many of you have seen the “cute” pictures of a baby chimpanzee holding white tiger cubs or the photos and videos of an orangutan with a hound dog. These images and stories have been circulating and re-released in many forms over the last six years. All of these animals reside at a facility called The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.).

Although T.I.G.E.R.S preaches about species conservation and they claim to contribute toward helping endangered species, the source of their money-making is nowhere near ethical. The premise of their facility revolves around photo ops and up-close and hands-on interaction with these animals, using them in traveling shows, and leasing them out for a variety of media productions. Displaying wild animals in this way involves numerous animal welfare concerns and poses serious public safety risks.

Suryia, the same orangutan who is seen with the hound dog, appeared in a Robitussin ad in 2010. You may remember that this ad was altered as a result of our advocacy efforts and other public pressure – Suryia was replaced by a CGI chimpanzee in the ad.

T.I.G.E.R.S. director Bhagavan “Doc” Antle continues to use the “unlikely animal friendships” angle to exploit endangered species and give the wrong impression of the proper care of these animals. He has published children’s books about Suryia and the hound dog, and now has a new book about Anjana the chimpanzee and the tiger cubs. It is scheduled to release in November, just in time for the holidays.

The books present children with the misleading notion that T.I.G.E.R.S. is a sanctuary preserve, when in truth it is a glorified roadside zoo with a history of violations for improper housing and care for the animals. Antle is also famous for showcasing ligers (a lion-tiger cross) who notoriously have genetic abnormalities, neurological disorders, and short life expectancies due to their unnatural breeding.

Doc Antle's children's books

Don’t support this exploitation. When you receive an email or see images of baby apes with other animals on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc, take the opportunity to investigate where the animals are living, and politely educate people on the true circumstances behind the photos. If the image is an orangutan with a dog or a chimpanzee with tiger cubs, now you know the real story.

Encourage your friends and family to avoid purchasing Antle’s children’s books. As an alternative, we suggest purchasing an educational children’s book about chimpanzee behavior like “A Chimpanzee Tale.” You can also give the books negative ratings on Amazon, which may deter others from purchasing them.

Sample response to emails and Facebook posts with “cute” pictures of baby apes:

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. Infant apes should be with their 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.

Sample negative feedback for Amazon’s listing of Anjana and Suryia’s books:

This book paints a false picture of a hopeful, loving environment for Anjana and the other exotic animals at T.I.G.E.R.S. Unfortunately, the facility regularly exploits these animals for entertainment purposes, endangers the public by offering “hands-on” experiences, and breeds exotic animals, leading to a lifetime of unwarranted imprisonment. No reputable sanctuary would intentionally breed, nor would they put their animals on display or exploit them for entertainment purposes. Please do not buy this book for your children. It is highly misleading and purchasing it will only contribute to the continued exploitation of these highly intelligent beings.

Take Action Tuesday: Help save chimpanzees in Cameroon!

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

EOA take action tuesday

A U.S. company called Herakles Farms is planning to begin a palm oil plantation in Cameroon near the border of Nigeria. Chimpanzees and gorillas live in these forests, and in fact the most endangered subspecies of each ape are living in that region. The Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee population (a.k.a. Elliot’s chimpanzee) is estimated to be approximately 3,500 individuals remaining. The Cross River gorilla population is estimated to be fewer than 300 individuals.

Endangered chimpanzees, forest elephants, and monkeys all live within the Herakles Farms concession. These already diminishing populations need our help!

Chimpanzee, Nigeria

This form letter has been put together to make it very easy for us to lend our voice in support of the apes, courtesy of Greenpeace. Although it is very convenient to just fill in your name and email and hit “send”—it really helps to make your letter unique. Tell the CEO of Herakles Farms why it is important to you that their plans for a palm oil plantation in Cameroon be canceled immediately.

We know from the plight of orangutans in Southeast Asia that palm oil directly negatively affects their population, sometimes driving orangutans and other forest dwellers to starvation when their homes are slashed and burned to the ground to make room for the plantations. In your day-to-day life, try to be a conscious consumer and avoid palm oil where you can. You can help be an advocate for apes every day by taking this extra effort to check the ingredient list of products you buy!

After sending your letter, take a few minutes to watch the second installment of a video interview with Dr. Debra Durham, where she talks a little bit about her conservation efforts with wild chimpanzees. Her current project is called Compassion in Action Mushroom Project (it’s a really innovative plan to help protect wild chimpanzees—be sure to check it out!)

Take Action Tuesday: Submit your comments to Fish & Wildlife!

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

EOA take action tuesday

A few weeks ago we posted about the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s proposed rule to “up-list” captive chimpanzees to endangered like their wild counterparts. They are accepting comments for just one more month until August 12, 2013. We encourage you to show your support for this proposed rule, and please also suggest that if enacted, this rule would prevent chimpanzees from being used in research any further (in other words, ask the FWS to forego any exemptions to the rule). With the recent NIH announcement to retire 300 of their chimps, things are definitely moving in the right direction for chimps and the tides are changing.

(As a side—did you see the New York Times today? CSNW, Jody, and Jennifer are all featured in a front page article! There’s a video online, too. Learn more here).

We interviewed Dr. Debra Durham to talk a little bit more about these changing tides. She shared a little bit about the PTSD research she did (which included looking at Negra as a case study) and why in her mind it’s important that the FWS move forward with the proposed rule. At the end, there’s a link to a petition we started, which I encourage you to sign and share with friends. To leave your comments directly to FWS, go to this website: and enter the docket number FWS-R9-ES-2010-0086. Then click on “Comment Now!” to leave your feedback.

Remember, share this with your friends—the more voices that speak up for chimpanzees in need, the more change we can create.

Take Action Tuesday: Split-listing may be removed!

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

EOA take action tuesday

This morning the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)  announced that they are proposing to remove the split listing between captive and free-living chimpanzees, making ALL chimpanzees endangered. This potentially will have a major influence on how chimpanzees are treated in this country. It will certainly have an impact on invasive research and most likely entertainment as well.

Read our press release on the proposal and see this news article featuring a photo of CSNW’s resident, Jody (read her story here).

At this moment, the FWS  has only made a proposal and this does not guarantee that it will be passed.  The FWS is currently accepting public comment, so we need your help! Please leave a comment here to express your thoughts on this issue. Let them know that chimpanzees should be regarded as an endangered species and that the hundreds of chimps still in labs and entertainment truly deserve to be in sanctuaries. Spread the word!


Take Action Tuesday: Petition to Merck

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

EOA take action tuesday

Have you heard about Brandon Wood? He is one of the most active chimpanzee advocates, always working tirelessly to help chimps through petitions, fundraisers, and tabling events. Did I mention he’s just 12 years old? He’s an inspiration! His latest project is a petition to a drug company Merck, a private biomedical testing lab, to stop biomedical testing on chimpanzees. Though the National Institutes of Health is moving toward retiring government-funded chimps in research, there are still many chimps in privately-funded labs. Lend Brandon a hand and help the chimps today by signing his petition! And don’t forget to share it with your friends, too.

brandon letter writing

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!

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.


[Your name here]

Take Action Tuesday

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Just a reminder that if you haven’t submitted comments to the NIH, the deadline is coming up (Saturday March 23, 2013 at 11:59pm ET). Check this blog post for more details. Another great resource is available through Project R&R here.

And just for kicks, here is Jamie receiving her second helping of pasta for dinner tonight.

web jamie greenhouse eating serving pasta


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 ( 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!