NOVEMBER 02, 2018

Going Ape

What part of "wild" as in "wild animals" don't people understand? I am thrilled that congress has passed a law banning the trade and sale of apes and monkeys.  It's tragic that it took an horrific attack on a woman in Connecticut and the shooting of Travis the chimp to bring this about.
     A wild animal should never be kept as a pet. Having raised a chimpanzee with my family for 2 1/2 years in a Manhattan apartment, I speak from experience. Although young chimps bear many similarities to young children, the adult chimp is an entirely different story. Chimpanzees are immensely powerful animals (more so than gorillas) and can be extremely aggressive. In the wild they live in a harsh environment and survive only because of their wits, group stability and great strength. The mature ape develops in accordance to its genes, programmed for forest survival. While a lot of civilized customs can be trained in, a lot of uncivilized instincts cannot be trained out. 
    Fortunately, I learned this in time so that my chimpanzee was--and still is-- able to spend his life with his own kind and develop according to his biological needs in an incredible environment that simulates his natural habitat at the Chester Zoo in England. He is currently the oldest chimp in residence there, the father of 13, and will enjoy the rest of his days in the best of all alien worlds.
   We were privileged to exchange love with this wonderful creature, but knowing what we know now we would never do it again.  To deny a wild animal its natural heritage, the birthright of its species, is not only anthropomorphically's just plain wrong. 

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