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Monkey Business: Bronx Zoo Marmoset Fights City Hall Cuts

A marmoset Callithris jacchus. (ALEXANDER TARAN/AFP/Getty Images)

A marmoset Callithris jacchus. (ALEXANDER TARAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Normally, the monkeys at the Bronx Zoo go about their day-to-day business in utter bliss doing whatever monkey are supposed to do.  Frankly, to us, it doesn’t look like a whole lot of work except for the mothers who carry baby monkeys around on their backs.

For the most part, it’s strictly monkey business for which they appear to be quite well-suited.

Now, in a clever PR stunt, the folks who run the Bronx Zoo have put Chewy the monkey to work fighting proposed City Hall funding cuts which they claim are a draconian 58%.  In this YouTube video, Chewy who is technically a pygmy marmoset, has apparently gotten his paws on an iPad and appears to draw “Don’t Cut Our Spending” on the screen.

Chewy says, on the Bronx Zoo’s Website:

“I knew something was up. My keepers tried to keep it a secret but we pygmy marmosets can always sense when trouble is brewing.  So when I found out that City Hall plans to cut funding for the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium by 58 percent, I couldn’t hang idly by!

Can you help? News has spread here in the Congo Gorilla Forest that a pygmy-sized city budget could force program cuts –and hurt businesses communities and families from the Bronx to Brooklyn and beyond.

Please join me and tell City Hall to quit this monkey business and save our funding.”

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Here’s the message that Chewy urges New Yorkers to send to City Hall:

As someone who cares about the health of New York City’s economy, I urge you to restore funding to cultural organizations like the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium for Fiscal Year 2013.

The proposed budget cuts almost 58 percent of operating support to the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium. This significant cut could potentially spark program cuts.

When you cut funding to our City’s cultural organizations, you hurt New Yorkers. These organizations pump valuable dollars into our communities and employ New Yorkers citywide.

The Wildlife Conservation Society alone, which runs the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium, pumps nearly $429 million into New York City’s economy. More than four million guests visit WCS facilities each year, buying from local merchants in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and across New York City.

Now is not the time to cut organizations that provide jobs to New Yorkers, drive local economies citywide, and educate our children. Please support restoration to cultural organizations and ensure our zoo and aquarium continue to serve the communities that depend on them.

Please share your thoughts about this economic struggle in our comments section below.