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Animal reality show starts debate on animal rights

Xinhua | Updated: 2015-03-23 10:38

Animal reality show starts debate on animal rights

Chinese actor Huang Xuan interacts with a monkey during the reality show Wonderful Friends. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chen Shuqing, a veteran animal keeper who provides professional consultation to the program, said the crew set up cameras in the zoo to get animals familiar with the monitors months before the program began filming. The animals were not frightened at any point during the filming.

Popular Chinese science website quoted zoologists as saying some plots in the program are not scientific and may mislead viewers.

For example, a baby chimpanzee raised by zookeepers was placed near its father in the program. A chimpanzee expert with the website said such a scene can be dangerous as the baby is deemed as a stranger to its father, and was therefore in danger of being attacked by the male chimpanzee. The male chimp's behavior reflected the expert's observation on the show.

He also pointed out that strangers petting the animals can also cause negative effects for the baby chimpanzee.

Some people also voiced concerns that, while the program attract interest in animals and share knowledge on their habits, it could also excite their desire to keep animals as pets, which is a driving force behind illegal animal trade worldwide.


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