BEAVERTON, OREGON (AP Newsliar) -- Unemployment and homelessness is on the rise among the nation's chimpanzee population, amid a decline in the use of primates for animal research.
Owing to the efforts of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other activist groups, chimpanzees who once enjoyed three squares a day and decent living conditions at facilities such as the Oregon National Primate Research Center are now finding themselves out on the streets with little in the way of marketable job skills.
A steep reduction in the production of zany movies featuring the antics of chimps on the loose has contributed to the plight of unemployed chimpanzees. Last week at casting calls for extras to appear in "Space chimps" and for the upcoming Matthew Broderick film "Project 2X", over 1,400 chimpanzees waited in line almost 18 hours to audition for only 12 available roles.
No other chimp-related movies are currently planned, and the highly coveted role of Chim-Chim in the upcoming live-action "Speed Racer" movie will be filled by a computer-generated image (CGI) character rather than a live chimpanzee.