In 2015, the FWS announced that it was eliminating a loophole that excluded captive chimpanzees from the protections of the ESA. Since the new rule went into effect, all chimpanzees—whether held captive or living in the wild—are now considered endangered. PETA and two concerned citizens filed an ESA lawsuit against The Mobile Zoo and its director, John Hightower, in January. Our lawsuit alleged that the roadside zoo violated the ESA by isolating Joe from other members of his species and denying him the complex environment that he needed. When Hightower and The Mobile Zoo finally agreed to do the right thing for Joe and relinquish him to the Save the Chimps sanctuary, we agreed to dismiss our lawsuit. After nearly two decades of solitary confinement, Joe is now living with other chimpanzees and quickly making friends.
“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
— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind