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Monkeys Belong in Rain Forests, Not on Film Sets, Says Dr. Shirley McGreal
For Immediate Release:September 14, 2011
Contact:Shakira Croce 202-483-7382
In response to the
news that Cameron Crowe's upcoming film, We Bought a Zoo, heavily
features a capuchin monkey and other wild animals, Dr. Shirley McGreal,
the chairperson of the Summerville-based International Primate Protection
League, has sent the director an urgent letter to urge him to promise never
again to use primates in his films. In the letter, Dr. McGreal explains that
monkeys are intelligent animals who belong in the wild—and that films like We
Bought a Zoo often inspire people to mistakenly seek out monkeys to keep as
"pets," only to cast them off when it proves difficult to care for
are extremely intelligent, and sadly there is a big pet trade exploiting them.
Baby monkeys doomed to live as pets are taken away from their loving mothers at
birth and sold into the homes of humans who try to make them conform to human
expectations, such as wearing diapers," writes Dr. McGreal. "Please
don't use monkeys in any more movies and encourage the horrible trade in pet
information, please visit PETA.org and IPPL.org.
McGreal's letter to Cameron Crowe follows.
8 September 2011
Cameron CroweDirector, “We Bought a Zoo”Hollywood CA
Dear Mr. Crowe,
I am writing you on behalf of
the International Primate Protection League and its 14,000 supporters in over
60 nations, all united by the desire to protect the world‟s monkeys from
cruelty and abuse at human hands.
I am extremely disappointed
that you have chosen to exploit a capuchin monkey and other wild animals in
your movie “We Bought a Zoo.” Capuchin monkeys belong in the rain-forests of
South America, not in Hollywood studios. These animals are extremely
intelligent and sadly there is a big pet trade exploiting them. Baby monkeys
doomed to live as pets are taken away from their loving mothers at birth and
sold into the homes of humans who try to make them conform to human
expectations such as wearing diapers – there are no diaper trees in the
Often the hapless pet monkeys
have their teeth removed when they get old enough to bite. To see some photos
of the damage fully-toothed and even detoothed capuchins can inflict, take a
look at the „testimonials” section of www.petmonkeyinfo.org
I believe that your making this
movie may well increase the demand for monkey pets who often end up cast off by
their owners. Monkey sanctuaries are full and many cast-off pet monkeys end up
in research labs, sub-standard menageries, or other horrible places.
Please also think more
carefully before making foolish comments, for example, “She is not just the
hottest actress around, but also the most compelling.”
Please don‟t use monkeys in any
more movies and encourage the horrible trade in pet monkeys. I should
appreciate your prompt assurance on this matter.
Dr. Shirley McGreal OBEChairwoman,
International Primate Protection League
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.