Noted primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall, the world’s foremost chimp researcher, released a statement through her website Good For All News on Thursday, as the footage of the chimpanzee began to gather a lot of viral steam. Goodall said she is “very disappointed to see the inappropriate portrayal of a juvenile chimpanzee” and suggests that the footage helps to perpetuate the illegal pet trade of great apes.
This isn’t the behavior of a wild animal, rather a trained behavior that seems intended to elicit this exact response. That point can be lost amid the runaway virality <sic> of an online clip and the Jane Goodall Institute said this is “part of the larger issue of social media videos” that prompt trading in exotic animals.
Notably, this isn’t the first time that a chimpanzee video has gone viral — and it’s not even the first time the same organization has caused grief for primatologists. And posts and videos such as these highlight how social media influencers with large audiences can quickly spread content — for right or wrong. Once they’re online, there’s almost no way to stop their spread and, in this case, the funny exterior masks the sad hidden truth of animals living in captivity.
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Don’t view any of the Great Apes being monetized and encourage bad behavior by human beings profiting off their captivity.
Animals belong in nature; not in captivity.
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