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PETA started an online petition directed at DiCaprio that asks the actor to "never work with great apes again" following the organization's discovery that Leo acted alongside a chimp named Chance during a party scene in "Wolf of Wall Street." The organization says it sent DiCaprio a graphic video depicting the inhumane treatment of chimp "actors," but he ignored it and other communication from PETA.
The organization added that the family that owns Chance is notorious for its poor treatment of animals, and has been cited numerous times by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. PETA also claimed that the American Humane Association -- the organization that grants films the "No Animals Were Harmed" distinction, which recently came under fire for allegedly ignoring on-set animal abuse and injury -- also failed to do its job on the set of "Wolf" by intentionally sending someone who had no experience with primates to monitor Chance.
"Someone as committed to environmental concerns as Leonardo DiCaprio should know better than to support the well-documented cruelty involved in using great apes for entertainment," said PETA primatologist Julia Gallucci. "PETA hopes the next time Leo receives a script with an ape 'actor' in it, he'll remember that these sensitive animals are stolen from their mothers at birth and subjected to physical abuse - and he'll demand a rewrite."
"The Wolf of Wall Street" opens nationwide Christmas Day.
[via PETA, h/t TheWrap]