Save Chimpanzees from Imprisonment in Tiny Cages

Juvenile Chimpanzee

Target: Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate

Goal: Ban the inhumane private ownership of chimpanzees.

Chimpanzees are being kept as pets in the United States when they should be kept in their native habitats. According to the Humane Society, there are currently around 15,000 primates, including chimps, being kept as pets in the United States. Baby chimpanzees are unarguably adorable creatures that have many fascinating similarities to humans, but they should never be kept as pets. Private ownership of chimps poses many problems to both parties.

Once grown, a chimpanzee can become territorial and violent. Nobody could forget that horrific incident in 2009, when a pet chimp named Travis mauled the friend of his owner, tearing large portions of her face off. Keeping such animals outside of their native habitats poses a clear public health hazard and should not be permitted. Also, since primates are genetically similar to humans, there is a risk of them passing on illnesses to their human owners.

This is to say nothing of the harm that is inflicted on the animals. Chimps are taken out of their natural environment and placed in a house, a totally unfamiliar environment to them. Since this is evolutionarily unprecedented, they can have trouble adjusting to this unnatural environment.

People should not be allowed to keep chimpanzees as pets. Please sign this petition to ask Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to work for more effective legislation that would ban private ownership of chimps.


Dear Mr. McConnell,

I feel that legislation against private ownership of chimpanzees needs to be strengthened. I was surprised to learn that there are around 15,000 primates, including chimpanzees, currently being kept as pets in the U.S. today. People buy these animals because they are endearing and because they exhibit many fascinating similarities to humans. However, they are still wild animals that should be kept in their native habitats. Chimps are adorable when they’re babies, but they grow into territorial beasts that are capable of inflicting terrible injuries on humans.

Many of us still remember that terrible incident in 2009 in which a chimp mauled a woman, inflicting terrible injuries on her face. Primates also pose other health hazards to humans since they can pass on certain diseases. In addition, there is little doubt that taking a chimp out of its native habitat and forcing it to live with humans is unnecessarily stressful to the animal. I would like to ask you to urge Congress to design laws that more effectively prevent people from owning chimps.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: William Warby via Flickr

Sign the Petition

  • Only your name will be displayed. By signing, you accept our terms and may receive updates on this and related causes.
FacebookCare2 NewsTwitterEmailShare


  1. I have a chimp who is fully grown and amazing. And no, I have no inside whatsoever. I treated him like a human his whole life, and he is an amazing animal, and it is fascinating to see him grow and have human habits. You have to have good leverage and patience to own one. His playroom is the best I could give him and he is a blessing. You must provide for them and I is hard owning one, but still, although this is one thing, I think people should stick with cats and dogs.

    • I didnt mean to say inside, I meant I have no injuries whatsoever.

    • I mean no disrespect, but I want to point out the words you have typed and hopefully shine a light into the right thing for this chimpanzee. Your comment reads, “I treated him like a human his whole life……have human habits.” This was written as if we should applaud you for this. Although I acknowledge your efforts and abilities, I do not applaud it simply, because it is NOT a human. Humanizing a chimpanzee is not honoring the chimpanzee in him/her. The best thing to do to an animal of any sort is to understand them for who or what they are and honor how God made them. This is not honoring to this chimpanzee. It is making him/her how YOU are, which is unnatural to him/her. This is cruel and dishonoring. It is nothing to be proud of regardless of the “best possible environment” you are providing. Unless you have this habitat replicating what he was created to live in, it is not ever going to be enough or honoring to the chimpanzee. He may be a blessing to you, but I question whether you are a blessing to him. They aren’t meant to be owned. They are meant to be free to roam in the wild. That’s what they were created to do. And now, your chimpanzee can’t even go back into the wild, because he’s too human. Unfortunately, the chimpanzee can’t speak for itself. So, although you may think you’re doing something wonderful, unless you treat this chimpanzee like a chimpanzee, it is not good for him/her….it just works for you. Bless you.

    • Stephanie Geyser says:

      I agree – people should stick with cats and dogs. I’d HATE to have been snatched away from my human mother, to be owned by a chimpanzee, and to be treated and raised as a chimpanzee by my chimpanzee owner, and be expected to do chimpanzee things. I’d rather live with MY OWN KIND, with whom I can communicate in my own human language, and do human things, and live a fulfilling human life.

      • Kathy Williams says:

        Well said!
        Except that I truly wish mankind had not domesticated feral cats from Africa and dogs (descendants of wolves) either. Clearly, with so many healthy, adoptable animals having to either be euthanized or left to fend for themselves (i.e. the pet overpopulation crisis), humans need to leave other species ALONE! Stop destroying their habitat. Stop kidnapping them and imprisoning them. Stop breeding them. Stop making them unwilling participants/forcing them to perform unnatural tricks just to entertain us. Stop torturing them. Stop eating them. They are not material things, commodities, goods to be obtained, bought and sold until they are considered no longer useful — much like human slaves were once (and still are) treated.
        Human beings are an extremely callous, selfish, arrogant, greedy species.

        • I agree completely. God provided a beautiful, natural, habitat that is specifically designed for each species. Humans Must stop eating, torturing, domesticating, destroying their natural homes, and must learn respect and become educated on how animals and this beautiful planet are being destroyed, by humans.

        • Hear-HEAR!!!! Exactamundo!!! AGREED, stop ALL that selfish, human-species nonsense!! And that said DESPITE the fact that I’m totally desolate if I have to live without any “domesticated” animals around to commune with, touch and share their world with! (HOWEVER, there are already more than enough abandoned ones as it is for SEVERAL decades’ worth, even IF breeding stopped “yesterday”)

      • Tamara Heikalo says:

        Excellent statement!

      • Exactly! That’s what I meant! I don’t support the pro at ownership of chimps and I regret ever getting him. I realized also that I should have gotten a simpler pet like a cat or a dog.

    • You deprived this chimp of its rightful home – IN THE WILD with its own kind. It is not there for your entertainment so you can show off that you have a pet chimp. You should be thoroughly ashamed. Chimps are not children they are wild animals and should stay wild animals. GROW UP and get a life.

      • Shirley i keep it as private as can be. I dont get to go outside a lot. I hav more of a life than you, just sitting around and telling me what to do go away, stupid.

    • Tamara Heikalo says:

      OAnd one thing I have to wonder: does “your” chimp get to go outdoors? Or is it stuck in it’s human made indoor prison – sure, prison life is probably nice compared to what most humans are subjected to, but….
      Luckily you say people should stick to cats and dogs. Damn right. Even these animals do not often receive what THEY really need, either.

    • I think you (and ultimately this chimp) would greatly benefit from watching and thinking DEEPLY about this documentary about Chantek, the orangutan raised by humans:

    • Jenna Miles says:

      As much as I am sure you both love each other, no matter how sweet tempered an individual he is, chimpanzees always have the potential to snap, anytime, any place. Some small thing may set them off, and they may not even mean to hurt you. Children are especially at risk.

      But above all, no matter how good his playroom is, you can never give him what he needs. It is essential for chimpanzees to grow up in a community with others of their species, or they cannot be psychologically healthy. They need to have the constant challenge a chimp group gives them. They need to hug and kiss other chimps, they need to groom, they need to navigate the complexities of a group. They need to be able to run outdoors, climb, choose what they want to do with their day.

      You need to let him go to a reputable sanctuary, where he can be a chimpanzee. It never ends well when a chimpanzee is raised human. They are wild animals, and it would be a huge mistake to mistake them as anything otherwise. You cant let him roam free, and it is likely one day you want be able to let him out of the house if you haven’t already.

      I have worked to promote chimpanzee welfare for years , and there is not a single pet chimpanzee that ends well. One of these days, he will snap, they always do. It doesn’t mean they are bad chimps or don’t love you, they have childlike tempers, and lash out. It could be anyone he loses it with, a dog, a child. It is extremely risky. Put it this way. I would be more worried about an escaped chimpanzee than an escaped tiger.

      The longer you wait, the harder it will be on you both for him to go to a sanctuary. Keeping him home because you love him isn’t the best for him or you, or anybody around you. One chimpanzee is no chimpanzee.

      Please heed my warning on this. It will end disastrously for you both.

      You said yourself you must provide for him, but there is no way you possibly can, only a sanctuary can do that. Where do you live?

      If you truly love him, please do what is best before it is too late. How old is he?
      Read more:

    • Desmond Lockwall says:

      You can’t own a chimpanzee. It’s a wild animal and is not supposed to be in captivity.

    • Desmond Lockwall says:

      You can’t own a chimpanzee! It’s a wild animal and is not supposed to be kept in captivity.

    • That’s terrible! Look I’m sure we’ve all dreamed of having a chimp, or monkey as a pet but I would never ever attempt to have one. Chimps are not pets, a chimp having human habits is not fascinating it’s abuse.

      • It is not abuse and it is not as terrible as you kelly saying it is. All of you read th last part of the darn comment

    • Patrick Patterson says:

      Rohan, the most important thing about raising any animal is being able to spend an unlimited amount of time with them…. They don’t understand the phrases, I don’t feel like it or I’m tired you can’t just set them down in front of the boob tube and let them occupy themselves like many do with their human kids….

    • Totally agree! Everyone should stick with dogs/cats and leave the wild to the wild! Its totally selfish for any human to take an animal from the wild and expect it to conform to our way of life! Cruel for sure and it has to stop!

    • So pathetically sad for you, of you, for you. If you truly love this animal, set it free to habitat where it can flourish as a chimp and act like it has the right to. You are so sad and pathetic … if you truly love him, then you will do what is best for him.

    • Forcechange and sicknews are annoying, but I did not know its users are half as annoying, plus although I am using It, I am not as hardcore as you stupid jerks

  2. Andrew, I don’t agree or appreciate you calling or referring to a chimpanzee as a “beast”; which it is not. Maybe, according to the original definition, but not to today’s day and age definition. It is simply an animal – an intelligent animal at that. If you had called it anything less deserving, you could have called or referred to it as a creature.

    • A-hem…while I agree in principle, Roy, I feel I must also point out that the use of “it” (as NOT a “being,” but an object) is also incorrect and ultimately damaging to animals’ rightful status as sentient beings themselves. Language is a powerful tool, for better or for worse. Let’s use it as wisely and thoughtfully as possible. 🙂 This chimp is either a “he” or a “she,” but not an “it.”

  3. It’s not enough to love and care about chimps or other animals that we all so adore and are awe-struck by … you MUST be KNOWLEDGEABLE — it’s obligatory to know what it takes to make & keep chimps happy & comfortable for all stages of their lives … they need a sanctuary that replicates their natural habitat …

  4. “treated him like a human all his life and he is an amazing animal.” What’s up with that? Chimps are wild primate animals and should be allowed to be the wild primate animals they are alongside their own kind in their natural environment. That’s like saying, I treated him like an animal his own life and he’s an amazing human being.” Just doesn’t make sense.


  6. kay allan says:



  8. Marilyn Glasgow says:

    There should be a complete ban on the private ownership of any exotic animal. Whatever the mindset is of people who seem to want control over another living being is, escapes me. It is just cruel and abusive. Please put a stop to this now.

  9. Rescue the chimps.Set them free (as they were intended to be). Put their heartless owners in cages !!!!!!

  10. Animals do not belong in cages! Although some can survive in captivity, they do not thrive. Apes and monkeys lead miserable lives as pets. It is not natural. Most animals should not be pets but, especially wild creatures who suffer, at the very least, poor care and often terrible abuse and death. They can, also, not surprisingly, be a danger to humans, when depressed and even insane. Humans are appalling selfish and a bane to wild animals.

  11. I looked after a lot of Animals including the Glorified Human Animal with supposedly Soul and Rationale Mind!( no real Apes) There are over 7 Billion of these Human Primates, how many live in an ideal Environment?We loose6-10. Million Children every Year most of their Death could be prevented you mean waistful greedy Human Barstards! If you had Soul a rational Mind why do you procreate just for Sexuell Gratification or simply naive and stupid Mentallity?In the 21century we don’t need Warfodder, Children to work on Peasent Family Farms, ruined Millions of Peoples Life’s by Unsuitable Humans to start Families. Fools and Idots, Scums and Bludgers! Let’s get our House in Oder before it’s to late!

  12. “So many people insist they are against animal abuse, cruelty, suffering and the inhumane treatment of animals, yet they don’t understand they are actively engaging in and supporting egregious suffering, abuse, cruelty and inhumane treatment when they eat animals and their ‘by-products.’ If you are against cruelty, suffering and inhumane treatment, then you go vegan. It’s just that simple.” – Sarah Kiser

  13. So I should just let it free to ruin everything around me. Sigh, *idiots*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Facebook Comments


31921 Signatures

  • Jessica Claudio
  • Anne Hart
  • E Boardman
  • Janet Delaney
  • Francesca Toppino
  • Marjorie King
  • Gertie Hunt
  • A. F.
  • Garry Taroli
1 of 3192123...3192
Skip to toolbar