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Nov 30, 2021
GIFs (animated images) can be a simple and fun way to communicate via text and are increasingly popular. Yet, while a GIF of an ape wearing overalls may seem cute, the animal pictured is often subjected to abuse in the process.

All species and subspecies of great apes are endangered or critically endangered. Experts say that GIFs depicting these apes in unnatural situations can also perpetuate the myth that they make good pets which fuels international wildlife trade of these endangered animals. 

While campaigners have been successful in coercing some stock photo agencies to stop providing images of apes in unnatural situations, many popular GIF sites still don't have policies against these images.

This episode features the popular article, "Think that GIF of the smoking chimp was funny? The chimp wasn't laughing," by Tina Deines:

https://news.mongabay.com/2021/11/think-that-gif-of-the-smoking-chimp-is-funny-the-chimp-wasnt-laughing/

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Photo Credit: Adult female and infant wild chimpanzee feeding on figs in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Image by Alain Houle via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 4.0).

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