Project Nim – the must-see documentary of the year by director James Marsh – details the attempts of scientists to teach a chimpanzee (Nim Chimpsky) sign language. Primatologist Bob Ingersoll features in the documentary, and our resident expert on all things animal testing related, Alistair Currie, interviewed Ingersoll on his relationship with Nim, animal testing and his interest in animals.
Here he is in his own words:
Alistair: Did you have a particular interest in … other animals before you started [working with chimps]? What gave you that original interest?
Bob: … Read more.
I hope you’re as excited as I am to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which opens next Friday, 12 August. The movie’s message and CGI special effects are so animal-friendly that PETA US has given director Rupert Wyatt a Proggy Award for recognising that real great apes don’t belong on production sets.
Given the impressive technology available now – and you’ll see it in all its glory in this film – there’s no need to hire wild-animal trainers who rip baby chimpanzees away from their mothers and physically … Read more.
© iStockPhoto / gelpi
Animals find new ways to astonish us every day. Wouldn’t it be great if we returned the favour by astonishing them with our compassion?
- Scientists have discovered that “sheepish” really means “brainy”.
- Dolphins and researchers have learned to speak each other’s language. Can a Rosetta Stone course be far behind?
- Perhaps those dolphins can help us translate a Compassionate Action Award into dolphinese for this pup-friendly pod who rescued a dog.
- A courageous canine has proved that true friends are there when you need them most.
… Read more.
© iStockPhoto / fotojagodka
For your Wednesday enjoyment, here are some of the sweetest and most amazing animals we could find.
- These brainy crows owe their intelligence to a legacy of nurturing parenting. Are crow nannies in our future, perhaps?
- Like humans, chimpanzees and penguins grieve the loss of a child or family member.
- Prairie dogs have a language so advanced that they can describe humans down to the colors of their clothes. Gok’s Fashion Fix: Prairie Dog Edition.
- This cat prefers strawberries to mice. Has she been reading PETA’s website?
… Read more.
© Istock.com/Guenter Guni
Every animal used for vivisection suffers, and every single one is important. Perhaps, though, it is easier sometimes for people to relate when chimpanzees are used in experiments. Of course, chimpanzees are incredibly like us, making it easier for many people to empathise with their suffering, but perhaps most of all, for me, it is the length of their lives. They can live as long as we do, and the thought of anyone facing decades in a laboratory is terrible indeed.
That’s why it was so heartening to hear … Read more.
© iStockPhoto.com / yuriz
Earlier this week I saw some video footage which broke my heart. Having volunteered for animals for years now, I’m becoming hardened to the things I see, but this was upsetting in so many ways.
It was a YouTube video which someone had recorded at a British circus during the 2010 season. All the footage was from the ring, what the circus were proud for you to see. It was distressing. I won’t link to it here, but there are plenty of videos on YouTube that show similar … Read more.