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Super Bowl ad using chimps targeted by zoo

CHICAGO (AP) -- A Chicago zoo is mounting a campaign to stop a company from airing a Super Bowl Sunday commercial featuring mischievous suit-and-tie wearing chimpanzees playing tricks on their human co-worker, saying all that monkey business proves deadly for the endangered species.

Lincoln Park Zoo officials fear images of the frolicking chimps broadcast worldwide do little to help conservation efforts, inaccurately portraying the animals as unthreatened and even as cuddly and harmless pets.

"If people see them that way, they are less likely to try and conserve them," said Steve Ross, a zoo ape specialist. The ad shows chimps laughing at a "Kick Me" sign on the human. "Individual chimps are being harmed and wild populations are being harmed by this frivolous use of an endangered species," he said. Ross said he and other animal welfare advocates have been complaining to ever since the company started using chimps in Super Bowl commercials in 2005., a Chicago-based company, said the "chimpanzee stars" were not harmed.


Forest Service grants Jesus statue a reprieve

HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- The mountaintop Jesus can stay at a northwest Montana ski resort -- for now.

The religious statue, which has been on federal land since 1955, was allowed to remain in place for at least 10 more years after the U.S. Forest Service reversed its eviction order Tuesday.

The agency had faced a firestorm of criticism from religious groups, the state's congressman and residents after it decided last year to boot the Jesus statue from its hillside perch in the trees above Whitefish. "I understand the statue has been a long-standing object in the community since 1955, and I recognize that the statue is important to the community for its historical heritage based on its association with the early development of the ski area on Big Mountain," Forest Service supervisor Chip Weber said.

Opponents, arguing for church-state separation, vow a lawsuit.


Probe reveals reprisals against whistle-blowers

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal investigators have concluded that Air Force officials at the military mortuary in Dover, Del., illegally punished four civilian workers for blowing the whistle on the mishandling of body parts of dead troops.

The Office of Special Counsel said in a report released Tuesday that they have recommended to the Air Force that it discipline the three officials who allegedly retaliated against the whistle-blowers. The three were not identified by name.

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said he has appointed a two-star general to review the findings and take "appropriate action." Donley said reprisals against whistle-blowers are unacceptable.

In an earlier report released last November, the Office of Special Counsel said it had found "gross mismanagement" at the Dover facility.