New Delhi, Apr 17 (PTI) PETA India has asked the director of an upcoming movie to replace a chimpanzee, scheduled to feature in it, with computer-generated imagery (CGI) and never feature live animals in his films.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), India, shot off a letter to director Don Sandy after learning that a chimpanzee named Kong will appear in his movie ‘Gorilla’, starring Jiiva and Shalini Pandey, the body said.

PETA India’s message also included a link to a video featuring a computer-generated chimpanzee contemplating suicide. It was created by top advertising agency BBDO and award-winning CGI production company ‘The Mill’.

The thought-provoking spot illustrates the tragic lives of animal “actors”, it said.

“Compassionate, forward-thinking film-makers would never dream of hauling sensitive wild animals to a chaotic movie set and force them to ‘act’ for the ‘viewers’ amusement.

“PETA India is calling on Gorilla’s director to cut the cruelty and switch to modern and humane CGI and visual-effects technology,” said PETA, India, Associate Director of Celebrity and Public Relations Sachin Bangera.

The body noted that apes used in the film and television industry are commonly taken from their frantic mothers shortly after birth, leaving both the mother and the baby traumatised for life.

Investigations have revealed that trainers often punch, kick, beat and even give electric shock to apes during behind-the-scenes training sessions and on the movie set, in order to make them perform “correctly” in the fewest takes possible, PETA said in a statement. When chimpanzees reach adolescence and become too difficult to manage, they are typically relegated to cramped cages, where they face decades of loneliness and isolation, it said.

Blockbusters such as the ‘Planet of the Apes’ franchise and ‘The Jungle Book’ have relied on technology and advanced CGI to create realistic animal characters without harming or harassing their live counterparts, it pointed out.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.