This is my letter to the editor to the Kansas City Star regarding their story on the seven chimpanzees that escaped from the Kansas City Zoo.
The recent attempt at freedom of chimps at the Kansas City Zoo in April received mostly comical attention from the local community. Visitors at the zoo during the event were concerned about their inconvenience, nothing that free passes for the zoo wouldn't solve. Few in Kansas City empathised with the chimps and their need to be free.
We know from primatologists like Jane Goodall that chimps are highly intelligent beings with individual needs. These needs are not met while in captivity at the zoo. No engineered habitat at a zoo can replace their wild home. Like any person held against their will the chimps desire freedom.
If the Kansas City Zoo cared about the needs of the chimps they would work towards their freedom, not a more fortified cage at the zoo.