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.
You may send your letter to Gordon Ramsay c/o Staci Wolfe at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
[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!