Victory: After 20 Years, Art Show Won’t Bring Back Monkey Act

PETA Had Urged Mount Gretna Art Show to Protect Animals and Audiences by Canceling Capuchin Performance

For Immediate Release:
March 28, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Mount Gretna, Pa. – After discussions with PETA, the Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show has decided to move forward this year without a monkey act that has appeared at the annual event for the last 20 years. The act in question used a capuchin monkey named Django, who’s missing her canine teeth. They were likely pulled out, a cruel and traumatic procedure that’s been prohibited by a U.S. Department of Agriculture policy since 2006. Monkeys are wild animals, and when forced into stressful situations—such as public exhibitions—they sometimes become aggressive and bite humans. A concerned individual recently filmed Django behaving aggressively toward children at a fair.

“We know so much more about animals now than we did 20 years ago, including that monkeys invariably suffer when subjected to a barrage of strange noises and busy activity and to grabbing hands,” says PETA Primatologist Julia Gallucci. “The Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show made the compassionate and forward-thinking decision to stop hosting this cruel act, and PETA urges everyone to skip any event that treats living beings as props.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist viewpoint that animals are ours to breed, sell, or display for profit or amusement. Most monkeys used in performances are sold as infants by animal breeders and dealers, who remove them from their mothers prematurely—a practice that denies them the maternal care and nurturing that they need for normal development. When used for fairs and traveling exhibits, they’re often locked inside cages or shackled with chains and shipped from city to city to be displayed, used for photo ops, or forced to perform.

PETA recently prompted a senior-living company in Mount Joy to cancel an act featuring Django that had been scheduled for its Valentine’s Day event, and PETA and nearly 100,000 of its members and supporters succeeded in blocking an act featuring Django from appearing at a Christmas holiday event in Chestertown, Maryland.

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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