Animal rights activists have taken aim at moviemaker Cameron Crowe for using a live monkey in his new movie We Bought a Zoo.
Leading primatologist Dr. Iqbal Malik has written to the Almost Famous director on behalf of PETA, urging him to rethink using animal actors in future films after he hired Crystal, the capuchin monkey from The Hangover sequel, for his new movie, which stars Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson.
Dr. Malik, who has studied monkeys for 30 years from her base in New Delhi, India, points out that monkeys are "like Mickey Rourke" because they "do nothing you tell them to."
In her letter the ape expert explains that primates such as Crystal are torn away from their mothers shortly after birth and kept in isolation in order to be used in movies.
A spokesperson for PETA adds, "These highly social animals suffer from debilitating loneliness and depression when held in captivity. Dr. Malik suggests that, in future films, Crowe could use modern technology to represent his wild animal characters, such as the computer-generated imagery that was used to great effect in Rise of the Planet of the Apes."