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Chimpanzees and orangutans are members of the great ape family, and scientifically speaking, they're almost just like us! (They have fingernails instead of claws and hair instead of fur, and they even have opposable thumbs.) Great apes love their families, and babies stay close to their mothers until they are at least 8 years old.
Great apes are also really smart, and because of this, many are trained to be "actors" and performers, which is completely unnatural and can be very stressful and confusing to them.
Animals used in television, film, and advertisements are often taken from their families as babies, sometimes when they're just a few days old. In order to force young apes to perform on cue, trainers have been known to use physical abuse. A primatologist (someone who studies primates) who went undercover in a California ape-training facility saw trainers hit chimpanzees with clubs, their fists, and even broom handles.
When apes become too large and strong to handle (usually at around age 8), they are often left at roadside zoos, where they may spend decades in small, barren cages—often all alone. That was the fate of Chubbs, a chimpanzee who was forced to perform in movies and TV shows, then dumped at a roadside zoo in Texas and left to suffer in an enclosure littered with garbage
Unlike humans, no ape ever dreams of being a star on the big screen. With all the technologies available today—including animatronics, animation, computer-generated imagery, and more—there is no reason to force apes to endure a lifetime of misery as "actors."
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