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Lincoln Park Zoo isn’t amused by chimps in Super Bowl commercial

Chicago-based CareerBuilder ad from Super Bowl 45 January 2011

Chicago-based CareerBuilder ad from Super Bowl 45, January, 2011

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Updated: February 28, 2012 8:16AM

A television commercial for Chicago-based CareerBuilder featuring costumed chimpanzees will debut during Super Bowl XLVI, but not if Lincoln Park Zoo animal experts have anything so say about it.

They said Thursday that the ad is highly insensitive to the animals and exploits them, and if CareerBuilder is going to keep using chimpanzees in this way, the ads should stop.

“There is ample scientific evidence demonstrating the long-term negative impacts that the use of chimpanzees in commercials has on species conservation and welfare,” Dr. Steve Ross, assistant director of the Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at Lincoln Park Zoo, said in a statement.

According to the zoo, people who view chimpanzees in human settings and wearing clothes are less inclined to think they are endangered and to support conservation efforts.

The chimpanzees first appeared in CareerBuilder’s ads during the company’s Super Bowl debut in 2005. In last year’s 30-second commercial, the chimps worked at Yeknom Industries — monkey spelled backward — and created chaos for the only human employee in the firm, CareerBuilder said in a statement.

“From a business trip gone awry to an unorthodox fire safety meeting to a ‘car sandwich’ in the company parking lot, the chimpanzees are all about monkey business,” the statement said. CareerBuilder could not be reached for comment about zoo officials’ statements Thursday. James Scalzitti

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