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Lincoln Park Zoo To CareerBuilder: Nix The Chimps In Superbowl Ad

By Prescott Carlson in News on Jan 27, 2012 8:10PM


The Lincoln Park Zoo is taking umbrage with an ad Chicago-based CareerBuilder is running during the upcoming Super Bowl XLVI.

It isn't about sex, or fart jokes, or making light of human suffering, but rather the anthropomorphization of chimps.

Zoo president and CEO Kevin Bell released a statement about the ad on the zoo's website, saying he's "disappointed with those who have chosen to use chimpanzees—dressed like humans—for comedic effect." Bell also quoted the zoo's assistant director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Steve Ross, Ph.D., who said these show business chimps often have "tremendous emotional and psychological distress:"

The “acting” careers of chimpanzees are typically only a few short years, after which they become too large, strong and unmanageable. Because chimps can live 60 years, those deemed no longer useful to the media may end up in suboptimal housing for the next several decades. “These are endangered species we’re talking about,” adds Ross. “CareerBuilder is well aware that their commercials are contributing to negative outcomes for this species and yet they continue this damaging and archaic practice. It’s very disappointing.”

Lincoln Park Zoo is making lemonade out of lemons, however, and using the situation to promote their ebook Chimps Should Be Chimps, which Bell hopes will "help the next generation better understand what chimps need so that they can make our world a better place for wildlife."