An Important Safety Reminder from the Chimpopolis Municipal Zoo

The Human Habitat is a delicate reproduction of a real human ecosystem, from the days when humans inexplicably ruled Chimp Earth. While humans may seem docile and playful, they can become moody and enraged, especially after listening to talk radio. For your safety, do not taunt the humans or bang on the glass. Thank you.



  1. That’s not cute, that’s really sad.
    That chimp seems to want out of there so badly.
    It was hard to watch him bang his hands against the glass.

  2. yolanda says:

    That baby chimp is so cute but somehow I couldn’t get past the idea that he wasn’t playing, he was desperately trying to communicate that he hates the barrier. But he’s way too young and captive born to have any concept of freedom isn’t he? Or can chimps tell and understand stories like people? Can he understand a concept that he’s not experienced?
    I don’t know, but the constant high energy banging is hard to see as play when you *know* the beast is a captive.

  3. Um, he’s pretty obviously miming it for the baby’s benefit. If you look at what he’s doing, he just repeats any actions that make the baby laugh.

  4. Maybe he just wants to get through the glass and play.

  5. kzientek says:

    The repetitive banging on the glass is sad not cute

  6. victoreia says:

    Love the new tag!

  7. I think this is plain old sad… That baby chimp is probably just as intelligent, if not more intelligent, than the baby, and yet it’s doomed to spend it’s whole life in an enclosure, living the same life day after day after day…. whilst the baby grows up and has a whole world to explore. It doesn’t seem right. I hate seeing animals in captivity like this. 😥

  8. Seeing primates behind walls or barriers always makes me sad. Not trying to be a nuffer here. 😦

  9. Monkey see monkey do.

  10. rescue gal says:

    Exactly what I was thinking. This is heartbreaking.

  11. Normally I object to apparent animal abuse, neglect, etc., but in this case that’s not what’s going on. The baby chimp is not frustrated, he is being playful. He is playing and interacting with the baby. They are about the same size and to a baby chimp, the human baby just looks like another playmate. That’s what chimps do. To the chimp, the glass is a non-issue because to him, it’s always been there. Watch the entire video to see that the chimp is enjoying it as long as he has the baby’s attention.

  12. Le Bookiniste says:

    I agree with Tom and Rescue Gal. It’s so sad to see this little chimp banging his head on the glass wall. He seems so frustrated and desperate to get out… Heartbreaking.

  13. Sharon Wilson says:

    The baby is cute, but the chimp is scary! That banging won’t be so cute when he’s big! And I hate to think what would happen if such a strong little ape could actually get to that helpless little infant!

  14. meltinsmush says:

    Zoos are cruel. This is just an example. Anyone can see that baby chimp wanted out.

  15. As someone who worked with chimps and gorillas for 10 years I can tell you that the little chimp is playing and practicing territorial display behaviors on the window as well and interacting and playing with that mom & baby. Nothing sad about it, totally natural behaviors! It warmed my heart to see those two babies play together!

  16. i’d be in favor of a prisoner swap.

  17. and yet, succeeding!

    i’m with you, actually, but i know that children who are exposed to animals are more likely to grow up and love nature support its survival. there are a few exceptions. i still can’t figure out, for instance, why rabbits don’t slice carrots into their baths.

  18. it doesn’t seem right. i bet there are about a gillion star trek episodes to prove it. i’m also one of the humans who grew up to explore the world and came back to say, “feh. where’s my bowl of mush?”

  19. Until I see the rest of the chimp habitat, I refuse to judge this zoo based on a 3-minute video.

  20. Good idea! Leave the kid in the Zoo and let the poor chimp be free

  21. Zoos, particularly zoos which are part of breeding and conservation programs, are integral parts of preserving at-risk and threatened primate populations. In a perfect world, there would be no need for zoos. We don’t live in a perfect world, however. All ape species with the exception of humans are currently either endangered or at risk of extinction. Zoos aid not only in the survival of primates in captivity, but contribute much needed funds and support for programs such as the Dja Biosphere Reserve (western lowland gorillas and chimpanzees), Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Program and the FFI Cao Gibbon Conservation Project in order to ensure their survival in the wild.

  22. I agree with Rachael – although it was cute and endearing to see such evolved and sociable attempts by the chimp to play with the baby, it was ultimately heartbreaking. That this highly intelligent sociable little creature will spend its days behind glass in captivity is simply wrong. I’m not being a nuffer here – I’m glad CO posted it because I think it’s a really important video to watch. What are we doing to these animals, people? They are our cousins, our kin.

  23. The baby will probably grow up to work some monotonous job day in and day out and always wish for something better… at least the chimp is fed and cared for, can play, probably get stimulation within his enclosure…
    Just my thought. Not that I love seeing animals locked up, but we people sorta are, too!

  24. Ah, hope chimpy doesn’t get a sore shoulder.

  25. Shannomo says:

    The Chimp was cute and playful with the baby. I don’t like zoos, but hopefully this is a humane enclosure. The baby is precious and chubby and cute! I love both humans and animals. I don’t understand human haters. Cute video

  26. I agree, the chimp is clearly displaying playful behavior… I’ve seen that in teenage gorillas too. They lie on their backs and swing their legs around. This chimp seems happy to have found an interesting playmate. At times you can see he is trying to get through the glass, but it’s because he wants to touch (and apparently, lick) the baby. It’s not about getting out per se.

  27. skippymom says:

    Hurrah for someone using “per se” literally! This is so refreshing, thank you!

  28. Ermahgerd–I heard at the 1-minute mark a woman say, “Look–there’s a chimpanzee baby playing with a real, live baby.”

  29. lds7yrs says:

    Thank you AuntieB!! Too many people jumping to too many conclusions, based on inaccurate assumptions!

  30. You worked with chimps and gorillas?!?!? O lucky you! I am secretly addicted to the KOKO videos, and I just envy you so much right now.

  31. Jackie Rose says:

    Maybe I saw those “Planet of the Apes” movies too many times in my youth, but I think chimpanzees – and all animals, really – have much more intelligence and “awareness” (for lack of a better word) than we humans give them credit for. I try to treat all animals with deference and respect.

  32. yeah and the chimp won’t ever have to go to a team-building seminar at a dude ranch.

  33. i don’t like zoos, but i know that the best zoos are the ones that consider animals ambassadors and that’s perfectly legitimate. zoos are for children and children learn good things. they don’t want to see animals in zoos, either. i’d rather see game farms eradicated. “pheasants forever” is another one of those mind benders i hope i never understand.

    oooh, there’s some nuffin in the mod lounge!

  34. *snort* *laugh*

  35. OMG, Sharpy, stop! ROFLMAO!

  36. the AZA works very closely with the top conservation organizations in ways most people would never suspect. there are very, very talented men and women who work with in and with zoos just to keep our planet teeming with animal life. here are some of the brains behind the bars.

    i did a lot of research about this and it has no connection to cuteoverload. except maybe if you look up “margay.” cute AND science-y.

  37. heh.

  38. Ha. I haven’t had to do that.. and in all fairness, I get to look at cuteoverload a lot! I do ‘reference’ for a greeting card company as the librarian!

  39. Theresa says:

    Yeah, what about that?! I think that right there is an inhuman practice! 😛

  40. Sara_Writes says:

    People… the baby chimp was playing. He was mimicking a territorial display and interacting with the baby in a completely normal way. Not all zoos are out to just enclose animals for entertainment. A lot of zoos out there do a lot of good and take animals that would not survive in the wild, or rehabilitate them until they can. It’s okay… really.

  41. Theresa says:


  42. how cool is that!? you have the second best job after me. and after the writers. and meg.

  43. Oh, margays are adorable! I was doing a storytime about South America last year and I saw a picture of a margay for the first time and was just captivated.

  44. As a person who is putting blood, sweat, and tears in an education to work in zoos as an educator, all of you awful nuffers nearly have me in tears. Try visiting an AZA zoo sometime and erase the past of the zoos you probably went to 40 years ago without going back or thinking of how much they’ve expanded. Zookeepers love their jobs, they have to to work as hard as they do with such little pay. They strive for animal care to be at its best, and are constantly looking forward. The fact that this baby exists is a pretty good sign, because a chimp born in captivity is not an easy feat unless you have happy chimps. The zoo I’m at has had several endangered species have babies within the past few months, and I can tell you we have spent countless hours managing food, enclosures, stress levels, and the health of the parents. Every baby has been a blessing and celebrated by zoos across the country. Maybe if humans didn’t treat their world like garbage, my job would be unneeded. But as it stands, it is, and despite you wretched people, I will continue to do it, inspiring that kid who goes on to research the wild animals and help save them. When you complain about zoos, not only are you being illogical, you are also bashing a huge group’s profession, people who spend hours both paid and unpaid caring for their animals, giving them the best care possible and sometimes even being there 24/7 when an animal really needs it. When I go to work and see the kids that get so excited to help protect and save animals, I feel hope. But then I come here to an animal site and watch you all be quite offensive about my passion from your computers while you most likely do nothing to help “those poor animals.” I PICK UP POOP FOR PATHETIC AMOUNTS OF MONEY TO HELP SAVE ANIMALS THAT HUMANS HAVE DESTROYED IN THE WILD. There are animals in zoos that are extinct in the wild. So unless you’re actually doing something about it besides throwing money at charities where you don’t know where the money goes, stop and think about things and do some research. Despicable.

  45. I like how the comments go from “omg not cute this is heartbreaking” to “chill out, the chimp’s just playing!” Why is it the Debbie Downers always seem to get to posts first? Do not get.

    Anyway, totally agree with the latter posts. The baby chimp is clearly playing with and mimicking the baby human. Like it or not, we need zoos to teach/remind us how important animals are to our world.

    Plus, how cute is it to see two interspecies babies interacting?

  46. Tim Vojta says:

    It’s tough call. With the increase in poaching and hunting of primates, it is possible in our lifetime that these chimps are safer behind bars now than out in the wild.

  47. Cool! And thank you for the post. I thought the video was very cute and the chimp was trying to connect with the baby. While I often feel bad for animals in zoos, this was not one of those times, and I was disappointed by all the nuffing.

  48. Exactly. This is how I see it too. When animals are confined this type of behavior is not uncommon. The glass could be a souce of tension and confusion. Why they can’t touch, feel or move beyond it. And really any of you commenters who don’t like that notion, tough. We also are entitled to our reactions and opinions here. So don’t criticize those with whom you disagree. Doesn’t make us wrong.

  49. In the mod lounge. I will have myself a cold drink. And add I thought the “do not taunt the humans……” line was very apropos.

  50. So don’t criticize those with whom you disagree. Doesn’t make us wrong.


  51. Patti Francis-Wilson says:

    The video would not play for me on this laptop I hope I can sign in @ Rachel hey – you worked with them – I once cuddled \ Baby Bonobo Chimp and I feel you have made the best post here – sorry everybody = if you agree with Rachel I believe you are right – Chimps are a breed of “almost human” peeps – I love them

  52. Patti Francis-Wilson says:

    I wanted to agree with Rachel I tried to sign in – they even recognized my email but my meddage did not come though that is sad

  53. Some days, I really think the gates are on the wrong side of the glass. I’m sure chimps wouldn’t have invented The Only Way is Essex or Jersey Shore.

  54. Patti Francis-Wilson says:

    I have loved being here but I am not permitted to log in

  55. there you go, free to be you!

  56. Yeah, but wouldn’t we like to see the kind of reality television that Bonobos would come up with? Definitely not family-friendly, that much would be certain. 😉

  57. all the new cat species being discovered–and therefor protected–are amazing! i met one of the scientists who was the first to capture an image of one small wildcat (i can’t remember which). there’s another guy who retired from his career as an argentinean commercial pilot and devotes his time to saving a species used as food, the kodkod or guina cat. it’s not only zoos, but dedicated individuals working for tiny grants or no money at all. maybe we SHOULD put these men and women under glass so people can see that they aren’t monsters.

  58. well put. normally i wouldn’t approve a comment like this, but you’ve written a fine reply to an inordinate number of nuffington posts.

    besides, my job is just like yours!

    i kid.

  59. yeah, it’s called Jersey Shore.

  60. I like zoos. They’re important for conservation efforts, they allow us to study these animals and learn about their behavior and eating habits in a controlled environment, they allow the general public to see and learn about animals they might not even hear about otherwise, and they provide the animals in their care with food, shelter, and entertainment. This isn’t the 19th century any more, folks. There’s more to zoos than tiny cages and inadequate safety measures.

  61. Brava! *standing ovation* I for one completely approve of your job and think that modern zoos are doing a fantastic job of educating the public, and taking care of creatures that are slowly being pushed out of their natural environment.

  62. I have to agree with you,he was getting more upset at the baby by the second.The mother should have taken the baby away..

  63. 6rabbits says:

    @Sarbear: Well said!

  64. 6rabbits says:

    I see your standing ovation and raise with a “yee-ha” and “hip-hip-hooray” 🙂

  65. Word! Zookeepers FTW! 🙂

  66. tweetie says:

    Well, I think that Mom and baby need a special unlimited pass to this zoo, let the babies see and grow up together! That would be amazing to see, IMO.

  67. Yeah read it again and hold the snark.

  68. Who’s snarking? I’m pointing out the hypocrisy in your post.

  69. Chimps are apes.

  70. So true!

  71. LunaChickFringe says:

    Preach it! I could not have said it better.

  72. dirty speciest.

  73. Well I got into a fight with my PC and won so I think it’s cool now – tryiing again – I was trying originally to post to Rachel

  74. i swear this thing has a mind of its own. i just push the buttons and pull the levers and if something good comes out, i get a free puppy.

  75. Sandra D says:

    Thank you, Panda! The baby in the video is my grandson and so many of the comments we’ve seen have been very hurtful and some have been pretty scary. I had to remove all identifying info and am moderating comments on our YouTube page because of it. I just wish you would post your wonderfully educational comment over there as well.

  76. Can you provide a link or would that be giving away your identity?

  77. Sandra D says:

    On second thought, please don’t publish that link I just gave you. I don’t need trolls harassing me on my personal blog. Thanks!

  78. gotcha.

  79. because trolls live DIRECTLY UNDER THE BRIDGE TO CUTE.

  80. oh. yeah. Jersey Shore already mentioned up there. then i mentioned it. yeah. very professional comic timing… it’s the… um…. HEY, FREE CHICKEN FINGERS!