Posts Tagged ‘animal rights’

Take Action Tuesday! Chimpanzee in new Comedy Central show

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

EOA take action tuesday

Tomorrow night, March 25, Comedy Central is planning to air a new TV show called Big Time in Hollywood, FL. The show’s previews contain footage of a chimpanzee in several scenes.

The show was produced by Ben Stiller, who we hope will respond favorably to your feedback — but please hurry! The show premieres tomorrow and we would like to encourage the production to make sure the chimpanzee scenes are not included in the premiere. Not only are there numerous welfare concerns, but seeing chimpanzees dressed up in clothing and in physical contact with humans perpetuates the idea that they can be treated as pets.



Recently, A&E canceled the show Wild Transport after receiving feedback from Eyes on Apes and other advocacy groups about the use of chimpanzees in their show. We urge you to encourage Ben Stiller and Comedy Central to make the same progressive decision for Big Time In Hollywood, FL! Send him a letter (c/o his publicist), and let him know that chimpanzees should not be used in entertainment. We’ve set up a sample letter below which you can customize as you wish. You may also post on the show’s Facebook page.


Sink enrichment

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Recently we got some toy sinks in the mail, and I knew right away Jamie would be interested. Sure enough, we filled up the sink with some soapy water, along with some dishes and scrub brushes, and she began her inspection.

First, she tried to take the thing apart. When that proved to be more work than she expected, she went to using the brush to dip into the bubbly water and wipe on her tongue. Mmm, tasty soapy water! (We use all plant-based, non-toxic soap, so it’s okay if the chimps decide to eat it).





Once she had explored the sink thoroughly, she grabbed a pencil and picked up the assembly instruction sheet we left behind.

Take Action Thursday: McDonald’s exploits Suzy chimpanzee in new ad

Thursday, March 19th, 2015


A recent advertisement for McDonald’s restaurants in France features Suzy the chimpanzee demonstrating trained behaviors, such as jumping up and down and making “funny” faces. Unfortunately, what Suzy has experienced–and what her future holds–is not funny at all.



Although chimpanzees may appear to have positive, loving relationships with their trainers, this can be deceiving. Trainers often take babies away from their mothers at a very young age and use abusive, fear-based tactics to get chimpanzees to perform. Undoubtedly this environment causes serious psychological harm.

Steve Martin’s Working Wildlife, where Suzy lives, has repeatedly failed to meet even minimal welfare standards.


Suzy was the chimpanzee used in a Dodge commercial five years ago, which was altered after the company learned about the issues surrounding chimpanzees in entertainment. They took an innovative approach and using CGI, removed Suzy’s image from the original ad and changed the voiceover to mention the “invisible monkey.” Dodge also issued a mea culpa about the original commercial, explaining what they learned from Eyes on Apes and other advocacy groups.

dodge invisible monkey

As Suzy gets older, her future remains uncertain. Martin has a reputation for dumping his former non-human ape actors at facilities with deplorable conditions, including Walter, who was found kept in a dark, barren, concrete pit filled with garbage at a roadside zoo.

Unfortunately, despite reaching out to McDonald’s, we have not received confirmation that they plan to remove or alter the commercial. We need your help to put the pressure on McDonald’s! Please write a polite letter asking them to remove the ad, and pledge to never work with non-human ape actors again. You may direct your letters to Deborah Wahl (, a Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at McDonald’s.

You may also leave comments on McDonald’s France’s Facebook page or send a Tweet to @McDonaldsCorp.

Sample Letter to McDonald’s:

Dear Ms. Wahl:

I was disappointed to hear that McDonald’s France used Suzy the chimpanzee in a recent commercial for Spicy Chicken Wraps.

Suzy lives with a trainer who has repeatedly failed to meet even minimal welfare standards ( Suzy’s trainer has dumped former non-human ape actors at deplorable roadside zoos, and as she is getting older, soon she will be too strong to be managed.

Using a chimpanzee for a cheap laugh sends the message that these amazing beings are simply props. They are an endangered species that should be protected, not used for entertainment.

Suzy, and others like her, deserve to be in a sanctuary. Help put an end to the use of chimpanzees in entertainment by removing the commercial and making a promise to never work with non-human ape actors again. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.


[Your name here]

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

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St. Patrick’s Day 2015

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! As Katelyn mentioned in the sponsor-a-day post this morning, we love to find any reason to throw a party for the chimpanzees. So today we filled little shamrock cups with almond milk which was dyed green with food coloring, as well as their usual fruit smoothie which we also dyed green. We picked green apples and kiwis for the breakfast forage—and threw in some oranges because the chimps love them! Add some streamers and St. Patty’s day decor, and you have the perfect recipe for a great party!

Everyone loved the drinks. We added little straws to the cups, and some chimps used them while others tossed them aside while they licked the cups clean! Foxie was especially great at getting every last drop:



And Missy, too:



Negra delicately drank from the little shamrock glasses:


Burrito had filled his hands with chow so he had no choice but to lean over and use the straw for sipping:



Annie also enjoyed every last drop of the drinks:



Of course, the fruit was a big hit! Jody was so motivated to get some that she took on some unusual (for her) acrobatic moves to get to the high windows to get a snack.















We also hid some peanuts in little green boxes. Annie was the first to find them:






Jamie, quite uncharacteristically, was not the center of everything during this party! She grabbed a stash of food and drinks and stationed herself in a corner where we couldn’t get any photos of her. But she certainly enjoyed the forage, and we saw her still searching around for leftovers hours later!

Content Jamie

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Today is a gorgeous spring day with clear skies, the temperature is in the mid-60s, and everyone is in a great mood. It seemed like a great day for a picnic, so we set up a forage outside and everyone—including fair-weather gal Negra—ventured out for their lunch.

When they’re not outside, the chimps have been relaxing in the greenhouse mostly, but Jamie popped into the front rooms to get a good look out the window to see what JB and Diana’s dogs were up to (they’re enjoying the weather, too!)

I was able to take some photos of the boss in this calm moment. She was happy to let me do so, as long as I promised to show her the photos afterwards. She watched as I flipped through the photos on the camera screen—I took a couple dozen, at least! Once she was satisfied she returned to the greenhouse.

These are the best photos out of the bunch that I took:






Thinking inside the box

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Last night, volunteers, interns, and primate behavior students from Central Washington University got together to make some enrichment for the chimps. Their club is Primate Awareness Network—if you’ve been following the blog for awhile, that might sound a little familiar to you—they’ve hosted talks by CSNW staff during their annual spring speaker series several times.

We are so appreciative that they spent some time putting together boxes for the chimps, with nuts hidden in paper inside. The chimps seemed to enjoy their fun forage!












After Missy went through a couple of boxes, she surveyed the situation to see if anything else was up for grabs:



Missy’s zumba exercise

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Missy is chimpanzee-oriented, meaning she often chooses to groom or play chase with her chimpanzee friends over the humans (but we love that!) Every once in awhile she engages in fairly rambunctious chase or tug-o-war and will even quietly groom with caregivers on occasion. Times with Missy are a special treat for all of us! Today was no exception. She and Joel played a pretty fun game of chase. It seemed like Missy turned it into a sort of zumba-like exercise. Be sure to watch all the way to the end!

Foxie on a troll stroll

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Foxie takes her dolls with her almost everywhere. She holds them during meal times, she plays with them (both on her own and with friends), and she rests with them. She even takes them on brief outings onto Young’s Hill. A lot of times she carries them on her back like a mother chimp would carry their infant around, but sometimes she is able to manage with them in her hand or mouth as she walks. In the last photo, you’ll see she’s rubbing the troll’s belly as they head back into the greenhouse.

Though it can seem endearing how Foxie loves her dolls, it’s also a sad reminder that Foxie was never able to keep a baby of her own.

Foxie was used as a breeder in the lab. When she was just 10 years old, she gave birth to twins, David and Steve. Steve is deceased, but David is currently living at Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) in New Mexico. Foxie had two other babies, Angie (who now thankfully lives at Save the Chimps in Florida) and Kelsey (who lives at APF like David).

Though we can never make up for all that Foxie has lost, we are so glad that in sanctuary she has found a great deal of happiness and companionship in her dolls.





Sanctuary is love.

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Today has been all about love! We threw a big party in the greenhouse for Valentine’s Day with the help of decorations and enrichment donated by Lisa S., Carol M., and volunteer Patti—plus delicious food donated by Anne R. and Patti, including some tasty buckwheat waffles with walnuts and carrots. They smelled delicious! Patti excluded the sugar and salt from the recipe, but the chimpanzees didn’t mind one bit. They wolfed them down!

Here’s some photos from the set-up:


During the party, Foxie started to whimper a little bit. Jamie swooped in and comforted her and even shared a waffle piece with her. Now that is love! Jamie is the boss of the group, and in the chimp world, that means she doesn’t have to share anything if she doesn’t want to. In fact, she can take anything from anyone to assert her dominance. So for her to share something with Foxie is a true gesture of friendship.

Negra especially loved the waffles:



Jamie loved the drinks—we had red gatorade watered down plus smoothie in little shot glasses!










We all appreciate your gestures of friendship and love for the chimpanzees and are blown away with how we surpassed our Share the Chimp Love goal! It warms our hearts to know that these chimpanzees mean so much to all of you that you would share your generosity with them.


note: Patty Clark’s name should have also been included in the heart above!


You all have played a part in a second chance at life for these chimpanzees.

As supporter Kathleen C. put it in her sponsor-a-day message for today, “Sanctuary is love.” Just watch the video below to see how much love they had for sanctuary today!



And here’s the final Share the Chimp Love image of what love is for Negra

Love is for Negra

Take Action Tuesday: When “cute” animals reveal an ugly truth

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

If you’re reading this, you probably have a love of animals, so when you see videos and photos of animals that make you laugh or melt your heart, you want to share them. Us too! Unfortunately, there’s often an ugly truth behind “cute” videos and photos.

A prime example is the slow loris videos that have circulated. The slow loris is such an adorable primate, and the videos seem to show these animals in a happy environment. But the ugly truth is that these endangered animals are part of the illegal exotic pet trade and the behaviors that may look cute to us are actually signs of fear and stress.

A new example is the Android commercial called “Friends Furever” promoting unlikely animal friendships. Upon first glance, the video clips seem like a heartwarming example of friendship breaking the species barrier, and your first instinct might be to share the commercial with other animal lovers. The ugly reality is that exotic animals such as the orangutan and the elephant seen in the commercial are trained at a very young age (when they should be with their mothers) to pose for photos with humans, and they are forced into relationships with other species for the sole purpose of creating and circulating “cute” photos and videos. The orangutan, Suryia, and the elephant, Bubbles, both live at Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina.


Myrtle Beach Safari, operated by Bhagavan (Doc) Antle, has a history of repeated animal welfare violations. Masked behind what they claim is a sanctuary preserve, the facility regularly exploits their wild animals for a variety of media productions and endangers the public by offering “hands-on” experiences and traveling shows. Apes are wild animals, and without proper enclosures and respect for their true nature, many have attacked and brutally mauled humans.

Just last summer, two young chimpanzees were taken to a movie theater to garner attention for the Safari. Recently, these same chimpanzees, Vali and Sugriva, were seen on an episode of A&E’s Wild Transport, where they were taken to a crowded restaurant—creating yet another public safety risk just for a glorified publicity stunt.


In that episode, Vali and Sugriva were being transported to a facility in Miami called Jungle Island, where they have special “hands-on” encounters with guests, sometimes celebrities, which gains even more attention for the Safari.

After speaking with Eyes on Apes and other advocacy groups about the issues surrounding Vali and Sugriva’s appearance in the show, the A&E Network decided to cancel the series—setting a precedent for other companies to follow.

Unfortunately, actress Hayden Panettiere very recently posted a photo to her Twitter account of her holding the chimpanzee Vali at Jungle Island.


Images like this with humans in contact with chimpanzees perpetuate the misunderstanding about chimpanzees’ true nature and encourage the exotic pet industry.

Vali, Sugriva, Suryia, and dozens of other exotic animals under Antle’s care are living at a romanticized roadside zoo. These animals deserve better—they deserve a true sanctuary home where they can live out their lives without being shuffled from one exhibition to another.

Companies such as Pfizer have responded favorably when they learned the truth about Myrtle Beach Safari. We’d like to call upon Android to make the same compassionate decision.

We urge you to write to Android and Hayden Panettiere and ask that they remove any material that misinforms the public and promotes the Safari.

You can leave comments on Android’s Facebook page or the post of the Friends Furever video, reply to their tweet on Twitter about the commercial, and reply to Panettiere’s photo on Twitter as well. You can also email Panettiere, c/o her publicist, at . We’ve provided examples of what to write below.

In the big picture, when you see “cute” photos and videos of animals, ask yourself where these animals came from, where they are living now, what their future is likely to be like, and if the behaviors you see are the choice of the animal. You might be able to search and find the answers to these questions, or you might be left with more questions. When in doubt, don’t hit that share or forward button, because you might just be perpetuating exploitative, dangerous, or illegal activity.

Sample Facebook comment to Android:

I was disappointed to see that your new “Friends Furever” commercial promotes pseudo-sanctuaries such as Myrtle Beach Safari, where “unlikely animal friendships” like Suryia the orangutan and Roscoe the dog are forced after exotic animals are taken from their mothers at a very young age. In the wild, baby orangutans stay with their mothers until they are eight years old, so you can imagine how important that bond is for them. Not only does the Safari mislead the public into believing that these are “cute” relationships, but they also regularly put people at risk with public exhibitions of wild animals and exploit the animals for entertainment—things a reputable sanctuary would never do. This glorified roadside zoo has also had numerous animal welfare violations (

You’re not the first to be duped by this pseudo-sanctuary. Pfizer chose to alter a Robitussin commercial that was originally aired using Suryia, replacing the live animal scenes with realistic, high-tech computer generated images after they learned the truth behind the Safari. I urge you to make the same decision involving the clips of the exotic animals in your commercial. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.

Sample Tweet to Android:

@Android please change #AndroidBFFs ad to exclude clips of animals in roadside zoos. Robitussin did it before! See more at

@Android “cute” #AndroidBFFs animals reveal an ugly truth. Don’t glorify roadside zoos! See more at

*Sample email to Hayden Panettiere:

Dear Ms. Panettiere,

I know that you are an animal lover and have spoken out about the dolphin slaughter in Japan. I applaud you for your passion! Because of your obvious concern for animals, I was shocked and disappointed to see a photo of you and a baby chimpanzee named Vali circulating social media. You should know that when people see you holding a baby chimpanzee it perpetuates the cruel pet and entertainment industries. Baby chimpanzees belong with their mothers, and they shouldn’t be shuffled around to exhibitions or hands-on encounters. Vali was reportedly purchased from an animal breeder, and he belongs in a true sanctuary where the focus would be on his needs, not the desire of the public to have photo-ops with him. I urge you to please remove the photo from your social media and pledge to never participate in hands-on experiences with captive wild animals again.

Sample Tweets to Hayden Panettiere:

@haydenpanettier please remove the photo of you and Vali the chimp. He deserves better! Learn more

@haydenpanettier love chimpanzees like you love dolphins – don’t participate in their exploitation!

RT! Tell @haydenpanettier to remove photo of her w/ chimp – they’re wild animals & shouldn’t be used for publicity.

Lastly, please share this alert with friends and family. Change can only happen with more awareness! Thank you for speaking up for apes in need.

*If you email Hayden, please remember to BCC for tracking purposes. Thank you!!