Chimpanzee, the DisneyNature documentary that follows an orphaned ape through the forests of West Africa, opened last week to glowing reviews and the third-highest documentary box office in history.
Chimpanzee earned $10.2 million in ticket sales in its first three days, and was hailed by critics as “astounding” (the Boston Globe) and “astonishingly vivid and intimate” (the Chicago Sun-times). The Washington Post declared the “movie's heart is absolutely in the right place.”
A portion of ticket proceeds from Chimpanzee during the first week of release will be donated to the Jane Goodall Institute to support conservation efforts in Africa.
Chimpanzee was shot in cooperation with the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation in Côte d’Ivoire, and tracks the true-life travails of an infant male chimpanzee whose mother is killed by a leopard. The infant is adopted by others in his social group, and learns to survive in a beautiful but harsh environment.
Indonesia’s Ministry of the Environment announced today it will open an investigation into the issuance of permits to convert rainforests into palm oil plantations in Sumatra, an allegedly illegal act that may have caused the death of hundreds of orangutans in man-made fires that were set to clear the land.The ministry’s announcement came in response to findings by the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) forest carbon reduction task force. On April 13, the government-formed task force said it had evidence that Kallista Alam, a palm oil company, had violated regulations in turning the swamp forest into a plantation. The task force recommended that the ministry and the police further scrutinize the company’s actions. “The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) applauds the Government of Indonesia for taking this bold step,” said GRASP coordinator Doug Cress. “The scale of the damage caused by these fires may not be immediately clear, but there’s no doubt that orangutans in Sumatra are in a perilous condition. As many as five percent of the total population may have been lost in these fires.”
The Patrons of GRASP – great ape experts Jane Goodall, Richard Leakey, Richard Wrangham and Russell Mittermeier – sent a letter to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on April 13 asking to intervene in Sumatra, as the country’s biodiversity was under “extreme threat.”
Characterizing Indonesia’s biodiversity as under “extreme threat,” the patrons of the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) – Jane Goodall, Richard Leakey, Richard Wrangham and Russell Mittermeier – today sent a letter to the President of Indonesia asking him to halt the destruction currently underway in Sumatra and enforce laws that protect orangutans and their habitat.
The letter was sent to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in response to man-made fires in the Leuser Ecosystem that were set to clear rainforest for oil palm plantations through allegedly illegal permits.
To read the letter, click here.
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The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) is an innovative and ambitious partnership comprised of great ape range states with an immediate challenge - to lift the threat of imminent extinction faced by gorillas (Gorilla beringei, G. gorilla), chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), bonobos (Pan paniscus) and orangutans (Pongo abelii, P. pygmaeus) across their ranges in equatorial Africa and Southeast Asia.
The A.P.E.S portal is an online tool that provides real-time, visual representation of information about great apes, their habitats, populations, threats and conservation efforts around the world.
© 2012 Great Apes Survival Partnership