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Britain's pet monkeys are suffering from an obesity epidemic, caused by their couch potato lifestyle.
Federal regulators have fined Harvard Medical School $24,036 for repeated animal welfare violations in its care of monkeys used in research, an unusual penalty for an academic institution.
The fine, announced Wednesday by the US Department of Agriculture, covers 11 violations from February 2011 through July 2012, including four involving the death of an animal.
It was once widely believed humans were the only animals to use tools. But then Jane Goodall and other scientists noticed chimpanzees using sticks to fish for termites and rocks to break open nuts. In the laboratory, capuchins haveproven to be adept at sequential tool use: using one tool to obtain a second tool that can then be used to obtain an out-of-reach goal. Only a few primates and corvids have demonstrated success at sequential tool use.
Researchers believe sequential tool use requires a greater degree of cognitive sophistication than simply using one tool because the tool user has to 1) recognize a tool can be used on an item other than food, 2) resist the impulse to use the first tool to try to reach the food directly, and 3) organize his or her behavior hierarchically.
Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" may be receiving major hype with its star-studded cast and early whispers of Oscar buzz, but one group that does not stand behind the upcoming film is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
The animal rights organization came out against the movie, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Matthew McConaughey, among others. PETA took issue with the inclusion of an animal actor in the film, starting a petition on its official website reading, "Ask Leonardo DiCaprio Never to Work With Great Apes Again."
Last week, writer Henry Nicholls had the great privilege of meeting primatologist Dr Jane Goodall. In their conversation they briefly touched on the life of Ham, a chimpanzee who has interested him for several years. Goodall’s dismay at Ham’s treatment has caused Nicholls to reconsider how his story should be told.
What is a person?
“Beings who recognize themselves as ‘I’s.’ Those are persons.” That was the view of Immanuel Kant, said Lori Gruen, a philosophy professor at Wesleyan University who thinks and writes often about nonhuman animals and the moral and philosophical issues involved in how we treat them.
She was responding to questions in an interview last week after advocates used a new legal strategy to have chimpanzees recognized as legal persons, with a right to liberty, albeit a liberty with considerable limits.
You might think the United States has a wide variety of surpluses: fast food restaurants, ineffective politicians, talentless celebrities, overpaid athletes, insipid tweets.
You bet, says April Truitt, executive director of the Primate Rescue Center in Nicholasville. She will give a talk titled “The Chimpanzee Paradox: Too Few in the Wild, Too Many in the U.S.” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, in Transylvania University’s Cowgill Center, room 102.
Chimpanzees are not people, no matter how they are dressed up for commercials, but perhaps they are close enough that they deserve some of the same rights humans have.
That is what an animal rights group claimed on Monday when it filed a classic writ of habeas corpus, that revered staple of American and English law and tired cliché of detective fiction — not for a human being held unlawfully, but for Tommy, a chimpanzee in Gloversville, N.Y.