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This chimp’s Instagram game is strong, but not everyone’s happy about it

A video of a chimpanzee expertly using the Instagram photo-sharing app has become a viral sensation. 

The clip, which shows the primate smoothly checking out photos and videos while flipping back to the main feed, has racked up more than 1.5 million views on Instagram alone in the last couple of days, with millions more on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The clip originated on the page of Dr. Bhagavan Antle, who goes by the name ‘docantle’ on the social network, but reached more people via the page of wildlife and conservation advocate Mike Holston who posts under the Instagram monicker therealtarzan.

While the clip has Instagram users all over the world hitting that heart button, not everyone’s convinced. One expert pointed out it appears the chimp is living in an apartment.

“Sorry to be a killjoy, but this isn’t something anyone who cares about chimps should be happy to see,” primatologist Adriana Lowe told Motherboard. “The animal does look like it’s in a domestic home, so it’s probably a pet, which is really, really bad idea. Chimps make dreadful pets—they’re intelligent social animals whose needs are difficult to meet, even in a setting like a good quality sanctuary.”

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The site also reports that the ‘Doc’ Antle runs the T.I.G.E.R.S. (The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species) attraction in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which has been blacklisted as a ‘roadside safari’ by PETA.

The organisation has previous for uploading videos of chimpanzee’s using technology and came under fire for placing a virtual reality headset on a chimp.

View this post on Instagram

#sugrivathechimp playing in virtual reality?at the #atmyrtlebeachsafari in support of the #rarespeciesfund the chimp has tried the VR equipment dozens of times in the relaxed environment of his home on our wonderful wildlife preserve in #southcarolina. He can take it off anytime. He does and can put it on anytime but needs help adjusting it to fit well. Because he has a very small nose it slides down and he holds it sometimes. He is a very strong guy and makes his own mind when he is done. He's also very kind and acclimated chimp as an animal ambassador who has meet thousands of people in his life at the preserve. He lives with many other apes including his brother #ValiTheChimp • • • • #virtualreality #enrichment #chimp #htcvive #vive #tarzan #play #game #vr #chimpanzee #monkey #monkeys #monkeyseemonkeydo #learn #ape #greatape #fun #chimpanzee #apes

A post shared by Dr. Bhagavan Antle (@docantle) on

Another primatologist, Ashley Edes said: “Research has shown that sharing images & videos like this fuels the exotic pet trade, which we never want to encourage.”

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