13th September 2016
Dr Antje Engelhardt slams PETA for exploiting Naruto and the macaques. Details to follow.
This doesn't surprise me! I've always known that PETA couldn't act as a best-friend of either Ella or Naruto.
25th August 2016
PETA's appeal to win "Most Ridiculous Court Case of the Year" again - details now submitted to Ninth Circuit Court by Andrew Dhuey.
9th May 2016
The invented monkey Naruto has his next best friend, Antje Engelhardt, withdraw from PETA's court appeal to sue me.
26th April 2016
PETA appeal the court decision after I ask for attorney fees and costs. This UK charity hope to bankrupt a UK citizen on US soil.
1st February 2016
Relieved to win the Copyright Battle against PETA. Press Release available on my Facebook Page.
6th January 2016
Naruto the fraudulent monkey and impersonator of the monkey in my images (Ella) is lucky to be free from jail. Judge Orrick of the San Fransisco federal court allows the fraudster free and his monkey-backers another chance to make a revised claim in order to sue me for copyright infringement and strip me of what little earnings I make from the sale of these images.
Could all press and media enquiries for use of the Monkey "Selfies" be directed to my agent, Caters News Agency
Order your monkey selfie prints now, stating either the upright (seen
above) or the tilted version.
A Personal Statement regarding the macaques in Sulawesi:
The crested black macaque is an extraordinary animal, but one that is severely threatened and need of urgent conservation.
Photographing and publicising their plight was the main driver when I visited the island.
When I first published the images in the UK, I had no idea of the storm that this would bring upon me. It wasn't just from Wikipedia and other agents seeking to use my work for their own cheap publicity, or those wishing to destroy both my property and personality rights to my work, but from the conservation community also.
Bringing this monkey to the attention of millions has had its downside, and that was one reason why I partnered with a macaque conservation group, Selamatkanyaki in 2014.
Not only did I raise money for the conservation project, through canvas sales kindly donated by Picanova and direct print sales, but I helped the group to promote a new code of ethics when visiting these macaques in Sulawesi. Sadly, I am told, the increased interest in these macaques has led to a huge increase in tourism in the area, with many hoping for a similar experience to the one I had.
I reject any thought that I did any harm in authoring these photographs, but things have now changed since I was there.
Close contact with these animals has now to be discouraged. Their habituation and fascination with humans can only lead to trouble. I know this because of the many examples that exist where human-animal contact leads to accidents, fear, and even possible disease communication.
I would urge anyone visiting these animals to abide by the ethical code that at least a 5 metre separation should exist between you and the macaques. Respect the wishes of the guides. This has also been agreed with the park authorities and other conservation bodies in the area such as the Macaca Nigra Project. 5 metres is nothing! You will still be able to get close up photos of these charismatic creatures with a fairly standard zoom lens.
I do believe that positive human experiences with animals is of great benefit to the long term conservation of any animal. It is not just science that paves the way to save animals but human experience too. But I would hate to learn that my actions of getting these monkeys to take their own photographs (ie. press a button) could harm them in the longer term. Please do not try and touch them now that these animals are in everyones thoughts.
David J Slater, September 2016
Visit my Facebook for more of the story behind the monkey photo and how Wikipedia and PETA profit from it - at my expense!
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