Lawsuit Over Lonely Gorilla Gets a Boost From PETA

Organization Files Brief Pointing Out Why Ndume Should Be Removed From Solitary Confinement at The Gorilla Foundation

For Immediate Release:
January 10, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

San Francisco – Today, PETA filed an amicus curiae (or “friend of the court”) brief in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in the matter of the Cincinnati Zoo’s lawsuit against The Gorilla Foundation in Redwood City.

The zoo’s lawsuit seeks to compel The Gorilla Foundation to return the gorilla Ndume—who’s had no companion of his own species since Koko passed away last year—to the Cincinnati Zoo, where he would live in the company of other gorillas. In its brief, PETA points out that companionship with others of their own kind is critically important for gorillas’ welfare. That’s why The Gorilla Foundation arranged to “borrow” Ndume in the first place—to be a companion to Koko. The foundation pledged to return him upon Koko’s death—an agreement on which it has now reneged. In addition, PETA—which monitors hundreds of captive wildlife facilities—considers The Gorilla Foundation to be the worst facility holding gorillas in the country, noting that it has repeatedly failed to meet even the bare minimum requirements of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

“The Gorilla Foundation is an unaccredited facility that confines this gorilla to a trailer all alone,” says PETA Foundation Vice President of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “PETA is alerting the court that since this gorilla can’t be released into the wild, he deserves to be in the best possible captive conditions—and that means with a multigenerational social group of gorillas in the expert care of the Cincinnati Zoo.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—notes that The Gorilla Foundation’s lengthy record of AWA violations includes failing to provide gorillas with adequate veterinary care, including by administering dangerous medication without a veterinarian’s approval, and taking a leashed gorilla on walks.

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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