Archive for the ‘Alerts’ Category

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:, 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: 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: 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: 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.

Rock of Ages movie

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Primate Patrol is CSNW’s advocacy program. Our goal is to provide the public with information on the plight of primates exploited in media, and alert subscribers to current issues with the use of primates in TV shows, movies, and advertisements. Sarah went undercover into a training facility in Hollywood and witnessed the trainers routinely abusing the chimpanzees. In addition to the welfare concerns with using primates in media, we also have to think in the long-term—where are they going to be sent once they are too big or too hard to handle? To learn more about these issues, check out Primate Patrol and sign up to receive alerts in your inbox. You can also Like us on Facebook!

Today I sent out the following alert, about a new movie premiering on June 15th:

Rock of Ages, a new film musical scheduled to premiere in June, stars a lot of famous human actors – and a baboon. Tom Cruise, one of the stars, stated in an interview that he requested to work with a monkey. When asked about preparing for his character, Cruise said that he thought one day “You know what? I need a monkey.” When asked to elaborate he stated, “When Stacee [Cruise’s character] is not onstage, he’s kind of sad. And I thought, ‘this guy has to have a monkey that’s his best friend.’ Adam [Rock of Ages’ director] found this baboon. He sent me the baboon’s audition tape, and I said, ‘the baboon’s name has to be Hey Man.’ Stacee Jaxx doesn’t work without Hey Man.” The baboon, Mickey, was also recently on the show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. He was seen exhibiting abnormal behaviors and a fear grimace.

Please avoid contributing to the box office receipts for Rock of Ages – don’t go see it! Please spread the word to your friends and encourage them to boycott this movie with you. Let them know that monkeys should not be used in TV and film media, including the reasons listed above. Thank you for speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves!

If you have Twitter, go ahead and tweet that you won’t be seeing Rock of Ages because of the baboon actor. Example tweets:

Join me – don’t go see @rockofagesmovie because of their baboon “actor.”
Stand against abuse of nonhuman primates. Don’t go see @rockofagesmovie! Please RT!
RT Please! Join @PrimatePatrol and don’t support @rockofagesmovie when it premieres June 15th.

IOM to release report next week

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

One week from today the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on the Use of Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research will release its report, “Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research: Assessing the Necessity.”

They are hosting a public hearing on Thursday December 15, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. If you’re in D.C. you can register to attend this hearing. They are also allowing the public to listen to the briefing from home and will make their written report available for downloading that day.

Please visit this link for more information including the call in number and access code to hear the briefing.


For more background, read:

Chimpanzee research on trial before blue-ribbon panel from

NEAVS Helps Tip Scales on IOM Chimp Study from Project R&R

Ban Chimp Testing: Why it is time to end invasive biomedical research on chimpanzees from Scientific American


IOM briefing screen shot

Glamour Magazine article

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Sarah, CSNW’s Executive Director, appears, along with Burrito, in the May issue of Glamour magazine. The article is not online, so go get your copy today!

Here’s the title and description of the article from Glamour: (p. 211) She’s a Hero to Animals: One woman’s undercover work to expose the shocking abuse of show business chimps.

And here’s a photo of Sarah getting prepped for the photo shoot back in December:

Sarah Glamour shoot