Cheetah, You Ought To Be Out Of Pictures

They smoke cigars, swing from chandeliers and look cute on roller skates. Ever since Tarzan, chimpanzees have been reliable comic relief in movies, TV shows and, lately, commercials for the likes of Capital One and Dr Pepper. But now a coalition of activists headed by Jane Goodall, the renowned ethologist, wants to force the apes into retirement. Goodall is linking up with the Chimpanzee Collaboratory, a consortium of eight primate-welfare and -conservation groups, to launch a broad effort to persuade Hollywood to ban the use of actor-apes.

Chimps, humans' closest living relatives, are "capable of thoughts and emotions similar to...

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