Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “can i have that chimp as my pet?“:
I don’t see why you couldn’t have a Bonobo as a pet. They are smaller and nicer than a Chimp. As long as you have a big house and a Vet that can treat it.
Ummm…. a bonobo could still break both your arms and bite off every one of your fingers. At Lola, when one of the males became agressive, five females ganged up on him, almost tore off his foot and testicals and he nearly died. Bonobos are less violent and smaller than chimps but that doesn’t mean they are dogs.
Also, bonobos are an ENDANGERED SPECIES!!!! For every ‘pet’ that makes it out of the country dozens more were killed. Even if you breed bonobos in country, we live in a global community. How can we, as conservationists, tell the government of Congo or the Congolese people that it is wrong to kill bonobos for bushmeat and keep them as pets, when they can point to our country and say, ‘well Americans keep bonobos as pets, why can’t we?’
Also, if you think bonobos can live in a house, try keeping a tiger in a backyard.
I feel like there has been a lot of sadness on the blog lately and I need a bit of a pick up. I want all of you to meet Nicholas.
He emailed me a little while ago….
Dear Friends of bonobos,
My name is Nicholas Sablan,I'm 9
years old,I live in San Bernardino CA.,and I would like help finding chimps and
other primates to put in the sanctuary that I'll be raising money for in the
next few months. First,I envy you for saving such amazing creatures. I really
want to make a primate sanctuary with my family to study. The apes I would like
are at least 2 (Chimps and orangutans) to put in the sanctuary. I would be
grateful if you were to help me find some of the apes that I would like to put
in my sanctuary. I'm definitely
not sure about having gorillas in the
sanctuary because #1.They'll be major hard to find. And #2.Gorillas are very
hard to contain because I' ve observed them very well in zoos. The reason
that I'm asking you about this is because I want to hear advice from an
actual sanctuary. The orangutan just seems much easier to contain in sanctuaries
than gorillas to me. I really hope that you'll be able to help me find some
apes that actually need my help.
So I wrote back to Nicholas and explained that apes are very hard to take care of and that there are already sanctuaries out there that he could help. I also put him in touch with James the Bonobo fan, and said maybe james could give him some ideas. and then i got this email back.
I’m sorry that this is so late but I had school, acting class, and cubscouts! When I grow up I’m gonna work at Friends of Bonobos before I start my own sanctuary. I emailed James and he replied so that totally rocked. It’s going to be my birthday on 4/12/09. I’ll be a double digit until 100. Anyway, I can’t wait to work at a sanctuary for my fave great ape. Do you adopt and care for babies until they are sent to the wild? I wish that Kasongo could meet me. If I went to Africa that would be the first thing on my list. This may seem kind of annoying but I’d like to make a bonobo sanctuary supporting yours. You’ll always have the title as first bonobo sanctuary in the whole wide world. If I had a baby bonobo for a day it would be the best day of my life. Many animals are illegally owned & that should be stopped. Soon it will be like the northern white rhinocerous. Less than twelve in the world. Sadly all of the females are too old to give birth. Reply back.
Isn’t that the cutest? Nicholas, I’ve had a really tough week and your email made me laugh for a whole five minutes and I wish more kids and more grown ups were like you.
a friend of mine, sheril, on the Intersection, reposted my ‘chimps are not pets’ post in light of the recent chimp attack. check out the responses! what do you guys think?
You’ve likely already seen this story all over the news:
Chimp’s owner calls vicious mauling ‘freak thing’STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — The owner of a 200-pound chimpanzee that viciously mauled a Stamford woman calls the incident “a freak thing,” but says her pet was not a “horrible” animal.
Sandra Herold told NBC’s “Today Show” in an interview aired Wednesday that Travis, her 14-year-old chimpanzee, was like a son to her.
Herold tried to save her friend by stabbing the chimp with a butcher knife and bludgeoning it with a shovel.
I have extremely strong emotions concerning this particular issue… in part because of my conservation biology background, but more recently, from my friendship with science writer Vanessa Woods and her husband, evolutionary anthropologist Dr. Brian Hare. The very reason they study sanctuary orphans is because often mothers have been killed so the babies can be sold to people who want them as pets. Vanessa explained the problems with this last year at her terrific blog Bonobo Handshake, reposted here:
#1 Chimpanzees are wild animals. Animals that make good PETS like dogs and cats, have been domesticated for [thousands] of years. There has been selection on them against agression, which is why a dog, unlike a wolf, will not automatically tear you to pieces. Anyone who has a pet chimpanzee for long enough will eventually no longer be able to control them and will either get a body part bitten off or will have to use extreme force to control them. Chimps live to be 50 years old and grow almost as big as a human male. They have extremely powerful muscles and are 5-10 stronger than a heavy weight boxer.
This is the size of a full grown adult next to the baby sized chimps you see in commercials and on TV
#2 Because of this aggressive temperament people who sell these animals as pets must do so when they are adorable and harmless infants. Their customers do not know the level of aggression these animals are capable of or there strength.#3: Even accredited zoos and universities struggle to pay the expenses required to house wild chimps humanely and safely. The vast majority of chimp owners do not have the resources to assure the welfare of their wild pet and the safety of their neighbors.
#4 ALL primates potentially carry diseases deadly to humans including herpes B, yellow fever, monkeypox, Ebola, Marburg, SIV, and tuberculosis.
#5 But politicians in these countries point to the lack of laws in the United States and ask why someone in North Carolina can have a pet monkey or tiger but a Congolese or Brazilian cannot. My hope is that we will set an example for the world for the humane treatment of wild animals – their very survival depends upon it.
And finally and most importantly, the pet trade is an international problem that threaten many species with extinction. Conservationists are trying to stop this trade in developing countries where people kill endangered wild animals to sell as pets at home and abroad. But politicians in these countries point to the lack of laws in the United States and ask why is it wrong and illegal for them to have a chimpanzee as a pet, and if chimpanzees are an endangered animal that should be conserved and protected, wanyone in the USA can order one over the internet with a credit card?
We don’t buy and sell people any more. Since chimps and bonobos share 98.7% of our DNA, don’t they deserve the same respect?
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