Target: Bhagavan Antle, Owner of Myrtle Beach Safari
Goal: Reprimand Myrtle Beach Safari for taking chimpanzees to the movies
Animals that are kept in zoos live unnatural and highly controlled lives that deviate from the lives of wild animals. It is sad enough when animals are kept in captivity, but when they are also treated as the playthings of their keepers, something must be said. Two staff members from Myrtle Beach Safari recently took two of their chimpanzees on a trip to the movies. The documented event shows the chimps buying tickets and concession stand snacks with video footage of the chimps inside the theatre watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Zoos are responsible for the proper care of the animals that reside within their gates. This includes maintaining clean facilities for the animals, feeding them, keeping them healthy, and making sure that they are intellectually stimulated. Such stimulation can come from exhibit design, interaction and training with zoo keepers, interesting smells, foods, or sounds, and new objects. Stimulation certainly does not include being taken out of their surroundings, being exposed to disturbing traffic, hoards of people, watching a movie, or eating processed food that even humans should not consume.
Myrtle Beach Safari must look out for the animals within its care. Animals living in zoos are clearly living an unnatural life and to further that unnatural life by putting them in front of a big screen with bright lights and loud noises that disturb the eyes and ears is unfair. The chimps do not have control of their own lives and are subjected to obey the whims of their caretakers. These caretakers should be doing their best to make the lives of these animals as natural as possible, without the technological influences of the human world. Tell Myrtle Beach Safari that you disapprove of their filmed publicity stunt and that it is a disturbing use of their unfortunate position of power over these animals.
Dear Bhagavan Antle,
Your wildlife center has created the image that it cares for its enclosed animals. You even promote the T.I.G.E.R.S. Preservation Station in order to raise funds for the Rare Species Fund. However, recent events indicate that your zoo may not have the best interests of its animals in mind. Instead, it appears that you see them as a tool to be used to create publicity or act out what some might think is an ironic and funny situation where chimpanzees watch a movie about apes.
The recent event in which members of your staff took two young chimpanzees to see a movie is a disturbing misuse of the power you hold over these intelligent and self-sufficient creatures. These animals deserve to have a life as close as possible to the life they would have in the wild, which obviously does not include watching or going to the movies, nor does it include eating junk food or drinking sugared drinks. Buttered popcorn and artificial fruit juices are a long way from the natural diet of chimpanzees. I disapprove of Myrtle Beach Safari’s actions with these animals. Please reconsider actions such as these and act in a manner that promotes a healthy and natural life for the animals within your care.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Thomas Lersch via Wikipedia