Federal Officials Propose Endangered Status for Captive Chimpanzees

Federal Officials Propose Endangered Status for Captive Chimpanzees

The US Fish and Wildlife Service have laid a new proposal to declare captive chimpanzees as endangered. The proposals will require permission from federal officials to carry out any medical research on chimps, import and export and sales beyond the state.

The wild chimps have already been declared endangered. Data suggests that there are around 2,000 captive chimpanzees across the nation. Most of them are recruited for research, while others are in zoos or sanctuaries.

Dan Ashe, the Wildlife Service Chief, said the chimps are our closest relative on the planet. While announcing the proposal she said it may lead to renewed public interest in the trouble being faced by the species in wild.

In the coming 60 days, the proposal will seek public comments. The proposal comes in response to a petition to end the endangered status split between wild and captive chimps in effect since 1990, which is sponsored by the Jane Goodall Institute.

The proposal has received criticism from one of the chimp research group. "Wild chimpanzees should continue to be listed as endangered, and the big news is that if the proposal passes, captive chimpanzees would finally join their wild counterparts in that legal designation", said Barbara King, an Anthropologist and Author of How Animals Grieve.

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