Don't put chimps in a zoo

I am sure I was not alone in my disgust at the shooting dead of Jonnie, a 41-year-old wild-caught chimpanzee who had managed to escape from the enclosure where he was imprisoned in Whipsnade Zoo (your report, 2 October). This brutal and callous killing of a member of our closest living relatives typifies the way animals are viewed and treated as disposable resources by the zoo industry.

The close similarity of chimpanzees to us also makes them totally inappropriate to be kept in zoos. These highly intelligent animals with complex behavioural and social needs deserve respect, not exploitation in the name of "entertainment". The best way to conserve these animals, as with others, is in their native habitat. It is for these reasons that we, and other animal welfare organisations, are opposed to Edinburgh Zoo's unethical plans to add dozens more chimpanzees to its collection of captive wild animals.

ROSS MINETT, Advocates for Animals, Queensferry Street, Edinburgh