PETA Calls On Company to Stop Selling Damaging Cards and Fund Rescue of Long-Suffering Ape
For Immediate Release:
December 20, 2016
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Cleveland – Several American Greetings cards feature images of chimpanzees dressed in costumes—and in a letter sent to the Cleveland-based company today, PETA reveals that at least one of these chimpanzees, who is named Connor and is now an adult, is suffering inside an often filthy, virtually barren enclosure at the Missouri Primate Foundation (MPF), aka “Chimparty.”
PETA is calling on American Greetings to help fund the rescue and lifetime care of Connor, whose story is told in a shareable PETA video. At 21 years old, he still sucks his thumb and obsessively grooms himself—a sign of psychological distress. He spends most of his time in a small indoor cage, where he is denied adequate opportunities to climb—an essential activity for any chimpanzee’s well-being. He can only occasionally access a small, completely barren outdoor cage that bears no resemblance to a natural environment.
PETA is also calling on American Greetings to stop selling cards featuring Connor and other chimpanzees, noting that studies show that the inaccurate portrayal of chimpanzees in media, such as on these greeting cards, seriously hinders conservation efforts and may also increase the demand for these dangerous animals as “pets.”
“While American Greetings has profited from Connor’s image, he has languished in distress in a squalid enclosure,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is asking the company to have a heart and extend the holiday spirit of giving to Connor by funding his 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 the 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.