PETA Asks Hallmark to Help Rescue the Chimpanzee Featured on Its Cards

Video Shows Squalid Conditions at Notorious 'Missouri Primate Foundation'

For Immediate Release:
December 1, 2016

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Kansas City, Mo. – Hallmark Cards is still selling greeting cards featuring images of chimpanzees dressed in costumes and wigs, and in a letter sent to the Kansas City–based company today, PETA reveals that at least one of these chimpanzees, who is named Connor and is now an adult, is suffering inside a filthy, virtually barren enclosure at the Missouri Primate Foundation (MPF), aka “Chimparty.”

PETA is calling on the company not only to stop selling cards featuring chimpanzees but also to help fund the rescue and lifetime care of Connor, whose story is told in a shareable new PETA video. Connor was about 10 years old when he was last photographed for Hallmark greeting cards. He was reportedly “worked” for eight consecutive hours with frequent costume changes, and as a result, he became stressed and aggressive, bit his handler, and tried to attack three other people on the set. Now, he lives in a small, squalid enclosure at MPF.

“For years, Hallmark Cards has profited from the images of chimpanzees who have been left to languish in squalid, virtually barren enclosures,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is now calling on the company to end the sale of greeting cards featuring chimpanzees and help fund Connor’s lifetime care at an accredited sanctuary.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has filed a notice of intent to sue MPF under the Endangered Species Act, arguing that keeping chimpanzees in filthy enclosures, denying them adequate space in which to climb and roam, and keeping highly social primates in solitary confinement all violate the law.

Studies show that the inaccurate portrayal of great apes in the media, such as on Hallmark greeting cards, seriously hinders conservation efforts and may also increase the demand for these dangerous animals as “pets.”

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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