01 MAY 2019 In the video above, the chimp scrolls through the Instagram account of Mike Holston, also known as […]
01 MAY 2019
The video has received already seen over 1.6 million views.
At first glance, it’s pretty cool to see.
While the ease with which the Chimp manages to navigate Instagram, or even understand the concept of a touch screen smartphone, is quite incredible, not everybody is happy about the video.
It faces criticism from world-famous and highly regarded English primatologist, Dr Jane Goodall, widely considered the leading expert on chimpanzees.
“I am very disappointed to see the inappropriate portrayal of a juvenile chimpanzee in this video which is currently circulating on social media,” Goodall said in a statement released by her institute.
“Chimpanzees are highly social animals, very intelligent and have complex emotions like humans — it is imperative that we portray them appropriately and that they receive the best possible care in captive environments.”
The problem, according to the institute, is that videos like these portray the highly intelligent and endangered species as pets, which contributes to their illegal trade. It also obscures the dangers of human–chimp interaction, the institute said.
The use of a cellphone or other objects also isn’t natural behavior, the institute said, which isn’t good for the chimps’ development.
“And I hope and urge the people who have chimpanzees in their care will cease use of him in this way and join those of us who are working to end the cruel treatment of chimpanzees in entertainment,” said Goodall.
While videos like this often seem very cute, and in this case even impressive, they can also do far more harm than good, especially when it comes to the public perception of an animal as a species.
Given the current issues facing the planet, with countless species being wiped out in the past handful of decades and many more on the brink of extinction today, we as a species of our own should probably think more carefully about what we post to social media.