|My dad, Art Brown, was a Detroit Zoo chimptrainer|
from 1948 to 1964.
Once I was able to step outside of my private fears, however, I heard important questions from Shawn's readers. What happened to Mike, the zoo chimp that was sent to the space program? Haven't conditions improved for chimps in entertainment? And more...
The reaction to Shawn's blog posting convinced me to explore the history -- both my personal history and the larger societal history -- of chimps in captivity. And then, going beyond the history, maybe we can have a conversation about present conditions and future aspirations.
Hopefully, zoos and entertainment venues will work with me and open their records, so we can approach the issues collaboratively. But even if they don't, there must be people who want to share information. I invite you to give me your thoughts. If you know someone who grew up close to entertainment chimps in the 1940s and 50s (and 60s and 70s), ask them to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let's start a new thread of conversation, that can hopefully lead to a new life for the chimpanzees living today.