For Release: March 8, 2004
Contact: Peper Long 202-673-0206
National Zoo Letter to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Smithsonian's National Zoological Park Director Lucy Spelman today released the following letter to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, regarding a chimpanzee the group contends was born at the National Zoo:
"Upon review of animal records from the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park, other zoos, and the North American Regional chimpanzee studbook keeper, Edith was not born at the National Zoo. After speaking with the studbook keeper, earlier entries in the studbook were incorrect.
"The National Zoo does not currently house chimpanzees and they are not included in our institutional collection plan. The Zoo is committed to the proper husbandry and management of the all species at the National Zoo, especially the geriatric population, which often has special care needs.
Founded in 1889, the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park exhibits living animal and plant collections that celebrate, study and protect the diversity of animals and their habitats. Each year, nearly three million visitors enjoy the 163-acre park, which is free of charge. The National Zoo is a leading research center for conservation and reproductive biology, with scientists working at the Zoo as well as the 3,200-acre Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Va. Currently, there are approximately 2,700 animals from 435 species in the Zoo's collection.
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