Danielle Engel
Do Chimpanzees Belong In The Entertainment Industry?

Do chimpanzees belong in the entertainment industry? That is a question many people do
not bother to ask themselves as they are watching a chimp dressed as a ballerina at the circus or when they watch a one year old chimp perform on the set of the new Speed Racer film. But whether they are performing in the circus or acting in a film a chimp out of its natural habitat has little to no quality of life. The true story behind a chimpanzee’s life in captivity is one of torture both (mental and physical), solitary confinement and countless beatings; they struggle to exist in a fearful and unnatural setting. In captivity they are dominated by people, many of which have no scruples and no understanding of chimpanzee life in the wild and most trainers don’t even know how to meet a chimps basic daily emotional needs. An entertainment chimp’s life is anything but normal and it’s miraculous that any of them survive the ordeal.

Dr. Jane Goodall says 'Only when we understand can we care. Only when we care can we
help. Only when we help shall they be saved.'(pg 32 Jane) Dr. Goodall is talking about
chimpanzees and their future.

A Chimpanzee’s natural habitat is thousands of miles from where we live. According to
the Humane Society there are over 5,000 chimps in captivity in the US alone. They can grow to
be 4 feet tall and weigh up to 110 pounds. Chimps live in groups called “communities” with
members reaching upwards of 80 or more. Most young chimpanzees stay with their mothers until the age of 8. Chimpanzees have very strong ties with their mother. Their family ties are so strong that if a chimp loses its Mom it can die of depression.

Chimpanzees are used in various ways in captivity, as pets, as circus performers, as entertainers in the film industry, and in side shows around the country. For a chimpanzee to be imported into this country it must be taken from its...

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