Thursday, April 11, 2013

Justin Bieber's Monkey & Gruen's Ape House

Justin Bieber has returned to Newsworthy Novels! Apparently, his pet monkey has been quarantined by German customs officials.

Here's last week's Der Spiegel article "Animal Lovers Blast Bieber for Pet Monkey:"
Teen star Justin Bieber should be separated for good from his pet monkey Mally, the German Animal Protection Society said on Wednesday, echoing criticism from the animal shelter that has been holding the 14-week-old male baby since it was confiscated by German customs officials last Thursday.
Mally, reportedly given to Bieber as a present for his 19th birthday on March 1, should be with its biological mother and kept in an environment appropriate for its species, the society said in a statement...
Another animal welfare group called Animal Public went further. "Mally is only 14 weeks old. Separating her from her mother and taking a living cuddly toy on tour can only be described as animal cruelty," said Laura Zimprich, spokeswoman for the group, in a statement...
"Monkeys aren't domestic pets," said Zimprich. "Taking a capuchin monkey from fellow members of its species and raising it by hand isn't appropriate in conservation. The animal will develop serious behavioral disorders."
For a novel that delves into the animal rights debate (and which features primates) , try Ape House by Sara Gruen (of Water for Elephants fame):
Sam, Bonzi, Lola, Mbongo, Jelani, and Makena are no ordinary apes. These bonobos, like others of their species, are capable of reason and carrying on deep relationships—but unlike most bonobos, they also know American Sign Language.
Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab, doesn’t understand people, but animals she gets—especially the bonobos. Isabel feels more comfortable in their world than she’s ever felt among humans . . . until she meets John Thigpen, a very married reporter who braves the ever-present animal rights protesters outside the lab to see what’s really going on inside.
When an explosion rocks the lab, severely injuring Isabel and “liberating” the apes, John’s human interest piece turns into the story of a lifetime, one he’ll risk his career and his marriage to follow.
Then a reality TV show featuring the missing apes debuts under mysterious circumstances, and it immediately becomes the biggest—and unlikeliest—phenomenon in the history of modern media. Millions of fans are glued to their screens watching the apes order greasy take-out, have generous amounts of sex, and sign for Isabel to come get them.
Now, to save her family of apes from this parody of human life, Isabel must connect with her own kind...

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