Animals are just like people. They ride motorcycles, skateboard through tunnels and enjoy cat videos as much as the next person. And like their less hairy counterparts, they can’t live off a diet of cigarettes and soda. Apparently, an amusement park in New Orleans didn’t get the memo and is now being sued for mistreatment.
According to the Associated Press, activists from the Animal Legal Defense Fund are taking the Baton Rouge park Dixie Landin’ to court over a chimpanzee named Candy. They say the park feeds her soda instead of water and allows her to smoke cigarettes given to her by visitors.
“Defendants have for decades allowed members of the general public to throw items into Candy’s cage, including lit cigarettes that Candy smokes. Just as with humans, cigarette smoking is very harmful for chimpanzees,” the suit said. It also states that allowing her smoke violates the Endangered Species Act. Activists say she is isolated in an inadequate cage and request that she be moved to a sanctuary.
With so much time spent at the park, it makes adjusting to a new environment all the more difficult. Jennifer Treadway-Morris, attorney for park owner Sam Haynes, cites a letter from a veterinarian which details a failed attempt to transition Candy to the Baton Rouge Zoo. “She was returned because she couldn’t adjust and couldn’t assimilate,” Treadway-Morris said. “It seems that if they want her to have company, she doesn’t want it.”
It’s true, old habits die hard.