For every baby ape that ends up in zoos or as a pet, an average of ten adult apes die.
So that people can take selfies with baby apes on social media, non-human mammals are abused like apes or end up in some zoos – which resemble prisons.
Anyone who watches videos on social media with baby apes or visits zoos and circuses where profit is made with the animals should know that these babies can only be cruelly used and abused until they are sexually mature.
Great apes become sexually mature at the age of 6 – 10 years and after that they are no longer usable without cuteness factor, they start to fight back, become dangerous and are therefore locked away in cages afterwards.
The most famous example is Bubbles the Jimpanzee of Michael Jackson, who bought him in 1989 from an animal trainer in Hollywood and separated from Bubbles in 2003, after the ape had become increasingly aggressive and dangerous to humans.
Bubbles was lucky and has been living with 40 other chimpanzees at the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida since March 2005.
The Center for Great Apes’ mission is to provide a permanent sanctuary for orangutans and chimpanzees rescued or retired from the entertainment industry, research or the exotic pet trade. Educate the public about captive great apes and the threats to their conservation in the wild, and advocate for an end to the use of great apes as entertainers, research subjects, and pets.
Famous apes live there to this day, such as Bubbles from Michael Jackson, Bella who was used as a CareerBuilder in the 2004 Super Bowl XL campaign, Sam formerly “Sammy” who starred in the movie Dunston Checks, and Sandra an orangutan who was declared a “non-human person” by a judge in Argentina and freed after spending 20 years in the Buenos Aires Zoo.
Most great apes do not have this good fortune of being freed from captivity and abuse by humans. As the reportage shows with the example of the bonobo in Thailand, which has to spend its life cruelly in the cage of a zoo and could not be freed despite all efforts and the failure of CITES.
As long as the animal trade is the fourth largest illegal business and poverty and corruption are common in countries where great apes also live, people continue to visit zoos or circuses or look at captive and tortured animals on social networks and non-human animals have no rights, species protection is ineffective.
The supervisory authority CITES which would actually have the duty to protect animals, fails and does not prevent this illegal trade with under species protection apes and other animals, because violations and illegal imports, as with the bonobo in Thailand, are not suspected. As the documentary of the NDR with Michel Abdollahi proves.
The Nonhuman Rights Organisation fights for many years for the rights of non-human mammals, goes to court and sues for them through the instances to cause that intelligent non-human sentient mammals with the same cognitive abilities as humans, to which apes, elephants and dolphins and others belong, finally get rights – to free them from such cruel captivity as slaves of humans, so that they can live self-determined and in freedom with conspecifics.
No non-human animal deserves to be chained by humans, locked in cages, put on display for pleasure, abused, exploited and treated like a slave.
Astrid Ebenhoch is journalist, editor and founder of Hounds &People.
Here also in german: Planet ohne Affen
The documentary can be viewed in the ARD Mediathek: Planet without Monkeys