Great Ape Project is against the World Chimpanzee Day

Posted in 09/05/2018


Given the initiative launched to the media by different institutions to celebrate July 14th as the world’s chimpanzee day, the Great Ape Project estimates that in any case it should be the world day of all non human great apes (bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans), since otherwise it seems that it is trying to divide the mentioned species without any sense, diverting the main attention from the loss of biodiversity that is common to all of them and not only to the habitat of the chimpanzee.

All populations of great apes are in high danger of extinction and their number continues to decline in an alarming and rapid manner. Therefore it is important to concentrate efforts in a united way and not celebrating world days for each species.

Similarly, the Great Ape Project categorically rejects the fact that lucrative companies are the ones that promote the “world day of the chimpanzee”, since it is one more form of business within its facilities, celebrating parties, events and attracting more people in this way to zoos, where the great apes and many other animals remain locked for life, bored and stressed continuously.

Association of Zoos & Aquariums, Waza – World Association of Zoos and Aquariums and U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance; they are entities that promote the world day of the chimpanzees. Precisely the zoos were supplied with animals in the nineteenth and twentieth century from poaching. Great apes families were killed to rob the youngest and take them captives for the enjoyment and business of these centers.

For all these reasons, GAP Project strongly rejects the fact that lucrative centers are promoting this initiative and therefore will not support this claim while zoos, aquariums or any other center of these characteristics are behind the world chimp day.

In the pamphlet that can be seen on the website where the proposal is being promoted, they comment that it is done “In honor of the closest cousin of humans”. For the Great Ape Project, precisely because they are non-human hominids of our own family they must protect their free populations and they CAN NOT be held captive as they are kept by zoos and other lucrative places. Another phrase is “to promote their appropriate care (that of chimpanzees) in captive situations.” Clearly promoting the care of the captive great apes is simply to leave the zoos and be taken to sanctuaries, without promoting or encouraging breeding programs and abusive exchanges between zoos.

“The connection and responsibility to protect chimpanzees and great apes in general that are complex and intelligent beings must go through the immediate protection of their natural habitat, the end of deforestation and poaching, as well as the end of the captivity in zoos and other lucrative centers that only what they do is to show the horror of seeing alive inert beings, without a useful life, which is not a sample of education nor of respect for our evolutionary brothers. With the great apes themselves we share the same common ancestor, they are members of our lineage and without a doubt participants and important actors in the history of humanity, “ said Pedro Pozas Terrados, Executive Director of the Great Ape Project Spain and President of GAP International.

For Pozas, the world day of the chimpanzee supported by those who keep the great apes in captivity is a serious mistake and a form of distraction on the real problem that the great apes are facing at this time: their total extinction driven by Homo sapiens in all areas and the denial of their basic rights. For him, chimpanzees were chosen with the massive support of the Zoological Associations due to the fact that this species of great apes is the most common in the mentioned centers and it is intended to use that day for the promotion of the commercial business of the zoos.

Project Great Ape ends saying that does not support this initiative while behind them are the Associations of Zoos and Aquariums.