On the board meeting of the 15th symposium "Support for African /Asian Great Apes (SAGA) ", we have discussed the accident surrounding a chimpanzee named Pan-kun. Pan-kun bit a female trainee after his show on 6th of September, 2012 at Aso Cuddly Dominion.
We sincerely hope she will recover fully from her injuries.
We have sent a statement, filed "Demanding Statement about Forcing Chimpanzees to Perform in TV Entertainment Programs" to Aso Cuddly Dominion on the 4th of December, 2006. The statement points out that using chimpanzees in show business is highly inappropriate, especially from the animal welfare point of view, as well as from the academic and education point of view. The Management of Aso Cuddly Dominion didn't respond to our statement. Although the accident still has to clarify some issues, we think it can't be denied that this tragedy was caused by their management.
Additionally, the press reports on the accident grown to be a major topic to discuss at the board meeting. They portrayed chimpanzees as cruel animals; they reported "BRUTE/SAVAGE Chimp", "Chimp ATTACKED", and even like "The chimpanzee presumed the lady was a mating candidate", "It is getting harder for an adolescent chimpanzee to keep his calmness" and so on.
No, these claims are unacceptable.
No, chimpanzee doesn’t perceive a woman as mating candidate! It can only happen in Hollywood movies. Male chimpanzees in the wild don’t attack female chimpanzees to mate with them.
Is it getting harder for an adolescent chimpanzee to keep his calm? No, it is untenable. Chimpanzees are social animals; they read the situation when interacting with other members of the group; in some cases living in a 100+ chimpanzees group.
It is true that wild chimpanzees can occasionally be aggressive. So you could say 'chimpanzees are aggressive creatures', but then you can't be correct without adding: 'Human is worse aggressive'
Is it correct? "The chimpanzee (like Pan-kun) must be friendlier than other chimpanzees because he has been raised by humans" No, it is absolutely incorrect.
We fear these incorrect reports based on dishonest understanding falsely portray chimpanzees, thus this wrong image will generate severe negative effect on educating our society. We want the news media to keep their eyes open in reporting news correctly. News based on true and applicable information is fundamental in our society.
We strongly feel we need to pass on true information about all great apes, and promoting them objectively, based on our present scientific understanding.