Saturday, January 21, 2012

New video - Lincoln Park Zoo experts explain why the U.S. government needs to change policies on chimpanzees

It is not easy to summarize all the emotional and biological aspects of the chimpanzee, and to then bring that discussion cogently to the debate over the Great Ape Protection Act and the U.S. reconsideration of endangered species status. This video does an excellent job, in only 8 minutes, of explaining it all without the technical jargon that often clouds the public understanding.
I would just mention two slight corrections to the content of the video.
First, the narrator suggests that Congress is looking at changing the endangered species status ‒ but that change is actually under consideration by the Obama Administration’s Fish & Wildlife Service.  FWS does not need congressional approval to correct its past error in not giving endangered species protection to chimps in captivity (even though they rightly give endangered species protection to chimpanzees in the wild).
Second, the narrator speaks of places that are suitable for chimpanzees (in the wild and in zoos, and NOT in the pet trade or entertainment), but forgot to mention the North American chimpanzee sanctuaries. They are rescuing hundreds of chimps, with very few accolades and even less financial support, and they should be front and center in the public's mind.
Those are minor items. Considering the big picture, this video is better than most I’ve seen in explaining why we need to respect chimpanzees for who they are, and not for what they give to humans.

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