Universal Celebration as Theme Parks End Use of Primates in Shows

Published by Jennifer O'Connor.

The last exhibitors in the United States that still forced orangutans to perform on stage—Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Orlando—have officially removed all primates from their “Animal Actors” shows. PETA has been calling on the theme parks to stop using primates in shows since 2009.

As revealed in PETA’s award-winning video short “98% Human,” orangutans and other great apes used as “actors” are typically torn away from their loving mothers as babies, causing trauma to both infant and adult. A primatologist who spent 14 months working undercover for a California facility that trained great apes for the entertainment industry saw trainers kick, punch, and beat chimpanzees. At around 8 years of age, the animals generally become unmanageable and are routinely discarded at decrepit roadside zoos.

One of PETA’s first exposés was of Las Vegas “entertainer” Bobby Berosini, who was caught beating orangutans backstage nearly 25 years ago. Now, with Universal’s decision, these shows are history.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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