Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A Chimp Shot Dead

Is shooting a chimpanzee moral when they try to escape?

Johnny was shot dead on Saturday, in the green meadows of Whipsnade. Here, north of London, he lived with his friend Koko, and five other companions. Johnny, in his 40s, was "a bit of a thug", according to some. Was this a reason to kill him? He wasn't attacking anyone, and had no gun. Surely whoever pulled the trigger was arrested, and the shooting investigated?

Not so. For Johnny was a chimpanzee, not a human. He was not a member of the privileged club that enjoys basic moral rights. In fact, he was an object, an item of property under the law. That's why he could be deprived so lightly of his life. That's why he had been for decades deprived of his freedom. The wildlife park was his prison; and when he did what any of us would have done in his place - escaped - he was shot dead.

Photo by Arkansas Lad

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Chimps are our brothern and should be treated as such. This makes me so discouraged about our impact on primates. Humans are so destructive it makes me embarrassed to be one.

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