Praise Decision to Keep Chimp Friends Together

Young Chimpanzee Friends

Target: Lucknow Zoo Director Anupam Gupta

Goal: Applaud the cancellation of a plan to separate two chimpanzees who have been together for 20 years

The Lucknow Zoo in India has decided not to separate two chimpanzees who have been friends and companions for 20 years. They had planned to send one of the chimps to a different zoo for breeding purposes–a common practice that many zoos participate in to increase profits. However, animal rights activists stepped in, imploring the zoo to keep these lifelong friends together for the health and safety of the pair, named Nikita and Jayson.

Chimpanzees tend to form strong bonds with their companions, and the practice of separating chimps in captivity can cause depression and health issues in these complex animals. The organizers of activist group People for Animals wrote to the Lucknow Zoo, pointing out that separating Nikita and Jayson could prove fatal to either one of them. Thanks to their efforts, the director of the zoo has announced that they will continue to live together.

Due to habitat loss and general human interference, chimpanzees are now some of the most threatened primates on earth. As such, it’s extremely important that we do everything possible to protect the species, whether wild or in captivity. Shuffling these animals around to different zoos to breed them is yet another cruel practice by humans that disrupts their lives and can cause premature death. Sign our petition to praise the Lucknow Zoo for their decision not to participate in this inhumane system.


Dear Director Gupta,

You recently announced the Lucknow Zoo’s decision to cancel the separation of two of your chimpanzees, Nikita and Jayson, who have been companions in captivity for 20 years. I wanted to thank you for refraining from breaking up this pair so that you can send Nikita to another facility to mate with a different chimp. This is a great victory for these two animals, who could have fallen into depression and ill health if they had been separated.

As zoo director, I’m sure you’re aware of the potential consequences of separating life-long chimpanzee companions. Due to the highly complex and emotional nature of these animals, separation from friends can easily cause health issues and even eventual death. I understand that a chimp at a different zoo needs a mate, but it’s not worth risking both Nikita and Jayson for simple convenience. Because of you, we can be assured that this pair will continue to live happily and maintain good health.

Thank you for deciding to keep Nikita and Jayson together. This decision was both compassionate and wise, as it protects both of them from depression and health problems that often crop up when chimpanzee companions are separated. Considering how threatened chimpanzees are due to human intervention, it’s essential we do everything we can to ensure that the chimps we have left are protected and well cared for.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Delphine Bruyere via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Despina M. Andrelus says:

    “A righteous man regards the life of animals.” – PROVERBS 12:10; “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion & pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” – ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI; “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” – MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.; “I hope to make people realize how totally helpless animals are, how dependent on us, trusting as a child must that we will be kind and take care of their needs… (They) are an obligation put on us, a responsibility we have no rights to neglect, nor to violate by cruelty….” – JAMES HARRIOT; “The greatness of a nation & its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated… I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection of man from the cruelty of man.” – MAHATMA GANDHI

  2. Sydney M says:

    While I’m happy for the humane decision to keep the pair together, I’m equally horrified that there was ever any consideration to separate them. That would have been cruel beyond belief !!!!!! Animals have feelings and emotions too. They also respond to love and friendship, just the same as humans.

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