Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Planet Formerly Known as the Planet of the Great Apes -OR- The Great Ape Society

"Great apes are our closest living relatives and very special creatures," Russ Mittermeier, head of IUCN's Primate Specialist Group, told The Associated Press. "We could fit all the remaining great apes in the world into two or three large football stadiums. There just aren't very many left."
It's a bold and imaginative new plan, but housing all of the world's remaining great apes in football stadiums is probably less effective than protecting their existing habitat. We know they like football, OK, but would they be able to use the toilet facilities without creating a filthy human-like mess? How would they pay for concessions like hot dogs, nachos, candy and peanuts? How would they be treated for the resulting obesity and health problems? Can vendors provide their traditional diet? What teams would be willing to take to the field for the ape audience in the stands? Who would they root for? Too many questions remain unanswered, Mr Mittermeier. I know you have good intentions, but if we are to take the desperate measure of forcing our ape brothers and sisters to abandon their traditional habitat and integrate into human society, shouldn't we take their special needs and abilities into consideration?

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