The internet is currently in love with the video of a chimpanzee scrolling through an Instagram feed, because we love when animals do things that humans do.
While we may get a kick out of seeing it act like a human, laughing like Bart Simpson and saying "look, he thinks he's people" -- according to prominent primatologists, the video is bad news for the chimpanzee.
The footage of the ape, as Motherboard points out, likely originated from the Instagram account "docantle," the owner of a Californian attraction known as Myrtle Beach Safari, which houses a number of exotic animals. It seemed to skyrocket in popularity after being reposted by a second account known as "therealtarzann."
The ease with which the chimp swipes back and forth, and scrolls through the feed has been sending Twitter and Instagram meme pages into a frenzy with a view count numbering in the millions.
Noted primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall, the world's foremost chimp researcher, released a statement through her website Good For All News on Thursday, as the footage of the chimpanzee began to gather a lot of viral steam. Goodall said she is "very disappointed to see the inappropriate portrayal of a juvenile chimpanzee" and suggests that the footage helps to perpetuate the illegal pet trade of great apes.
This isn't the behavior of a wild animal, rather a trained behavior that seems intended to elicit this exact response. That point can be lost amid the runaway virality of an online clip and the Jane Goodall Institute said this is "part of the larger issue of social media videos" that prompt trading in exotic animals.
Notably, this isn't the first time that a chimpanzee video has gone viral -- and it's not even the first time the same organization has caused grief for primatologists. And posts and videos such as these highlight how social media influencers with large audiences can quickly spread content -- for right or wrong. Once they're online, there's almost no way to stop their spread and, in this case, the funny exterior masks the sad hidden truth of animals living in captivity.
Myrtle Beach Safari and Mike Holston, who is behind account "therealtarzann," didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.