Schwabenpark: Chimpanzee breeding is still not satisfactory

Until a few years ago, chimpanzees had to perform at Schwabenpark. Photo from 2012.
Photo: Landestierschutzverband BW

For many years, chimpanzee shows were held in the Schwaben-Park in Baden-Württemberg, where the animals – forced to wear human clothing – were forced to perform humiliating and inappropriate tricks to tame the animals in front of an audience. Although the amusement park in Kaisersbach halted shows in 2017 due to the commitment of PETA, other organizations and some politicians, the former “show stars” – currently 21 chimpanzees incarcerated – still have to endure the poor conditions in captivity.

We at PETA Germany criticize those responsible for the Schwabenpark as well as the Rems-Murr District Veterinary Authority for the fact that even after years of criticism, the official breeding standards are still sometimes visibly undermined.

According to current information, chimpanzee breeding is still not enough

We received information on current breeding conditions from a Request for Information under the state’s Freedom of Information Act (as of August 17, 2022). Accordingly, great apes are still kept in enclosures whose indoor areas are significantly – 70 to 75 percent – below the official minimum requirements set out in the so-called Mammal Report of the Federal Department of Agriculture. Of the 43 former chimpanzees (as of 2012), 21 chimpanzees (14 males and 7 females) still live in three groups in Schwabenpark. [1]

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Minimum requirements not met – PETA requests urgent rework or animal donation

For comparison: in current indoor enclosures, six to nine large monkeys live on an area of ​​64 to 74 square metres. The Mammalian Report envisions at least 240 to 300 square meters of area, about four times that. [2] Although they have free access to outdoor enclosures, chimpanzees often can only stay indoors in winter, when they cannot tolerate the frost and cold brought on by local weather conditions. Therefore, the Mammalian Report does not give an option that a larger outer enclosure compensates for a smaller inner enclosure.

We at PETA Germany strongly criticize the officials of the Schwabenpark and the responsible veterinary authority in the Rems-Murr region for this omission and urgently demand the necessary reinstatement of the work on the enclosure or the timely delivery of chimpanzees to famous reserves.

Schwabenpark has been misusing chimpanzees as cash register magnets for years

Schwabenpark has a long history of animal exploitation: hypersensitive great apes have been abused there for years as box office magnets and presented at shows in a humiliating manner. Schwabenpark has repeatedly provided hand-bred baby chimpanzees to a paying audience.

We have regularly criticized degrading monkey performances in recent years, and in 2012 we engaged in a debate with working family, authorities and politicians to improve the animals’ situation. As a result, the amusement park was required to significantly improve housing conditions for what at the time were 43 great apes. At least the chimpanzee breeding has now been halted. Meanwhile, 14 chimpanzees have been transferred to other zoological institutions – unfortunately also in similarly disastrous conditions, such as Zoo Landau.

Exploitation of great apes for entertainment is cruelty to animals

Chimpanzee researcher Dr. In a 2015 statement, Jane Goodall stressed that chimpanzees should not be used in the entertainment industry: The animals are often taken from their mothers as infants and “trained” through physical violence to submit to the will of their trainers. [3] As a result, adult chimpanzees often suffer from social behavior disorder and other behavioral disorders.

The presentation of great apes in the entertainment industry is fundamentally harmful – it also has negative effects on the protection of animals and species. Studies have found that people have less empathy and understanding for protecting endangered animals when they are shown pictures of chimpanzees with humans or in human-like poses (eg with clothes etc.). According to the study, the test subjects then believed that great apes could be kept as “pets” and not be threatened in the wild – when quite the opposite is the case. [4]

This is how you avoid animal suffering in your spare time

Make a conscious decision not to visit zoos and other recreational facilities such as the Schwabenpark, which display animals such as chimpanzees in an inappropriate manner. We’ve got the best tips for animal-friendly fun activities.

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