Andy Serkis Narrates Video of Lonely Chimpanzee Trapped in Zoo
When Andy Serkis heard about the plight of Louie, a chimpanzee who has apparently lived in isolation from others of his species inside a roadside zoo in the US state of Michigan for six years, he jumped at the chance to raise awareness of this cruelty.
In this moving new video that reveals what the lives of animals are like in these dismal facilities, he narrates Louie’s experience and asks for help to secure his release:
Having starred in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and King Kong, Andy has developed deep empathy for highly intelligent apes like Louie. At facilities such as this one, chimpanzees face a life of social isolation, deprivation, and the constant stress of being stared at by tourists. Andy notes in an interview that this environment is totally unsuitable for primates as well as other animals:
The fact [is] that here we have a chimpanzee shipped to a small family zoo, where he’s now kept in a cage, completely isolated, unable to socialise, living a very lonely and miserable existence, and it just broke my heart. It’s the same as treating a human being the same way – it really is.
Earlier this month, PETA US sent an official notice to the DeYoung Family Zoo – where Louie and a second chimpanzee, Tommy, are apparently kept in isolation – warning the facility of its intent to sue under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Denying highly social primates the opportunity to lead active, stimulating lives and engage in species-specific behaviour – as well as allowing visitors to yell and gawk at Louie – constitutes a violation of the ESA, which makes it unlawful for chimpanzees to be harmed or harassed.
There’s hope for Louie, but many animals spend their entire lives inside small cages that bear no resemblance to their natural habitats – and they have little chance of ever experiencing freedom. You can help animals by never visiting zoos that profit from keeping them in miserable captivity.