Chimpanzees: An Unnatural History

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NATURE introduces you to the unsung heroes in our history in Chimpanzees: An Unnatural History.

The history of chimps in our society is a history unlike any other. We have sent them into space, dressed them in costumes and demanded that they entertain us. Some have been adopted into human families until they “outgrew” their cuteness, many have been used to test our drugs or to help develop our vaccines, others have been infected with our most frightening diseases. While we are mesmerized by their likeness to our species and we have continually found uses for chimps, we never considered what they wanted or needed.

But their side of the story is starting to emerge. And it can be heard at the sanctuaries where many retired chimps now reside. It can be read in their medical records, seen in their mutilated bodies, or sensed through their psychological afflictions. We’ve had a conflicted relationships with chimps in our society but there are some people who want to simplify it. Chimpanzees: An Unnatural History will introduce you to the rescuers at sanctuaries like Fauna Foundation, Save the Chimps, Center for Great Apes. And they are determined to see that the traumatized residents they have saved from a life of confinement and suffering can finally be allowed to feel like chimps.

Update (January 2008): Under a new bill, called the Chimp Haven is Home Act, retired chimpanzees living at Chimp Haven in Keithville, Louisiana would not be able to be removed for medical research. President Bush must sign the bill for it to become law. The bill, introduced by U.S. Rep. Jim McCrery and U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, deletes a provision in standing law that would allow such removal. The CHIMP Act of 2000 established the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary System for chimpanzees retired from use in research. Chimp Haven operates this sanctuary system through a public-private partnership. “The chimpanzees at Chimp Haven have spent their lives in research laboratories helping to improve the lives of all Americans,” McCrery said. “Many of our discoveries in space and medicine are due to chimpanzees. I am proud to help modify the existing law to ensure chimpanzees at Chimp Haven will spend their final years happily.

Online content for Chimpanzees: An Unnatural History was originally posted November 2006.

Production Credits Print

Television credits 

WRITTEN, PRODUCED & DIRECTED BY
Allison Argo

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Cici Clark

EDITOR
Cob Carlson
Allison Argo

MUSICAL COMPOSITION
Tom Phillips

CAMERA
Bill Casey
Brett Wiley
Andrew Young
Liz Argo

SOUND
Paul Rusnak
Francois Proulx

Online Editor & Colorist
Dave Allen

Sound Edit & Design

Heart Punch Studio
Cob Carlson

Sound Mix
Ed Campbell

Cello
Beth Pearson

Additional CAMERA
David W. Akin
Chris Szwedo
Michael Williams

STOCK FOOTAGE
Framepool Film Stock Library
NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
National Archives and Records Administration
NBC News Archives
North Carolina Zoo
NZP Photo Archives
San Diego Union Tribune
Associated Press
The Seattle Times
Thomas M. Butler, DVM

SPECIAL THANKS
Our deepest thanks to all the chimpanzees
Center for Great Apes
Fauna Foundation
Save the Chimps
Thomas M. Butler, DVM
David Cassidy
Eric Kleiman
Ray Greek, MD
Dr. Fred Prince
Larry Barnhart
Ed Dittmer
Nancy Megna
Millie Weary
Chimpanzee Collaboratory
Primate Rescue Center
Chimp Haven
Dr. Theo Capaldo
US Fish & Wildlife Service

For NATURE

Series Editor
JANET HESS

Supervising Producer
JANICE YOUNG

Senior Producer
LAURA METZGER

Producer
JILL CLARKE

Associate Producer
IRENE TEJARATCHI

Production Assistant
RACHAEL TEEL

Manager
EILEEN FRAHER

Production Manager
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN

On-line Editors
BRUNO PELLEGRINI

Series Producer
BILL MURPHY

Executive in Charge
WILLIAM GRANT

Executive Producer
FRED KAUFMAN

Produced by Argo Films and Thirteen/WNET New York

This program was produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, which is solely responsible for its content.

2006 Educational Broadcasting Corporation
 

Web Credits

PRODUCER
Daniel B. Greenberg

DESIGNER
Michael DiMauro

PAGEBUILDING
Brian Sanatlone

WRITER
Jenette Restivo

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
Brian Lee

Thirteen Online is a production of Thirteen/WNET New York's Kravis Multimedia Education Center in New York City. Anthony Chapman, Director of Interactive & Broadband. Bob Adleman, Business Manager. Carmen DiRienzo, Vice President and Managing Director, Corporate Affairs.