Retire Louie the Chimpanzee From Roadside Zoo

Target: Bud DeYoung, Owner of DeYoung Family Zoo

Goal: Release Louie the Chimpanzee from his solitary confinement to a reputable sanctuary.

A young chimpanzee named Louie is currently held captive by the DeYoung Family Zoo, a roadside attraction in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Louie was taken from his mother when he was an infant and brought to Michigan to be exploited and gawked at by people who don’t realize the cruelty involved with keeping a chimpanzee confined to a cage.

At the DeYoung Zoo, Louie is forced to live in a small enclosure by himself, without the company of other chimps. Like human beings, chimpanzees are very intelligent and social animals. In the wild, they form large, complex communities. When they are held in solitary confinement and denied emotional and social stimulation, they become lonely, bored, depressed and, in extreme cases, even psychotic.

In human civilization, a person has to commit a crime before they are made to live behind bars. Even then, they are allowed to socialize with other people on a daily basis. Chimpanzees like Louie have done nothing wrong, and yet they are imprisoned as though they are criminals, forced to live a solitary and miserable existence.

The people who run DeYoung Family Zoo, which also advertises big cats, bears and hyenas, will undoubtedly argue that their animals are well cared for and happy. But this is an impossibility. The only entities that can provide animals like Louie with an adequate standard of living are wildlife sanctuaries. Please sign the petition below demanding that the owners of DeYoung Family Zoo release Louie and send him to a reputable sanctuary where he has sufficient living space and a community of chimps to socialize with.


Dear Mr. DeYoung,

Louie the Chimpanzee must be released from your facility and sent to a sanctuary as soon as possible. Like humans, chimps are incredibly intelligent and sensitive animals. In order to live happy and fulfilling lives, they require the same basic amenities that humans do, including adequate living space and social interaction. By forcing him to live in isolation at your zoo, you are denying Louie the emotional, psychological and physical stimulation necessary for his well-being.

It is bad enough that Louie was torn from his mother as an infant and robbed of the chance to be brought up in his natural environment. Please do not continue to exploit this intelligent primate for profit. Louie deserves the opportunity to find happiness in a reputable sanctuary with a community of fellow chimps. Please do the right thing and retire Louie from your zoo.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Aaron Logan

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  1. let louie retire now.

  2. Louie would be much better off at the Save The Chimps sanctuary in Florida where he would be rehabilitated and allowed to roam freely across several acres of land and with other chimpanzees. Every time a human confines something to a cage they should try to see themselves in the same enclosure and hopefully realize how wrong it is. We can do better for our planet!!

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