Chimp Entertainment Isn’t Helping Conservation

Chimp Entertainment Isn’t Helping Conservation

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A new study says inappropriate media portrayals of chimpanzees may hinder conservation efforts. The study finds that many people don’t even know the animal is endangered.

Picture a man giving a presentation to a room full of chimps wearing business suits. Ads like this are popular, but a new study says they give people the wrong idea.

Steve Ross is a researcher at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo.

ROSS: Over the past few years, I’ve allowed myself to be a little optimistic. It’s actually been two Super Bowls in a row that there hasn’t been a chimp based commercial.

Ross says his study finds that many people are unaware of chimp endangerment because of what they see on TV. And that could effect funding for conservation efforts.

ROSS: If you didn’t think the chimpanzees endangered, I think you’d be far less likely to support conservation organizations that might put their resources in that direction.

Ross says more education about chimps and other apes could increase support for protection initiatives.