Alan Cumming joins animal charity after search for missing chimp

Alan Cumming teams up with a chimp protection charity credit:Bang Showbiz
Alan Cumming teams up with a chimp protection charity credit:Bang Showbiz

Alan Cumming has joined the advisory council of an animal charity after a search for a missing chimpanzee ended with the beloved primate being found chained up in a basement.

'The Good Wife' star offered a $20,000 reward to find Tonka after working with him on 1997 family comedy 'Buddy' - based on the real-life story of 1920s socialite Gertrude Lintz, who raised primates as part of her family - and he was eventually discovered chained up in a property in Missouri in June before being handed over to the Save the Chimps charity in Florida.

Alan has now teamed up with the charity which is caring for Tonka and even filmed a public service announcement for the organisation to raise awareness of the suffering of "showbiz chimps".

In the film, he says: "I feel a personal connection to many of the residents here ... In the ’90s, I starred in a film with an infant chimp named Tonka. Back then, I didn’t know very much about the way showbiz chimps are treated."

Alan went on to say Tonka and other chimps are now "enjoying life of dignity" adding: "The most important gift these chimps have is each other ...

"They live to 50 or 60, it’s a lengthy and meaningful second act … there are hundreds more chimps awaiting sanctuary life."

Alan had previously teamed up with another animal rights charity PETA to help track down Tonka, speaking at the time, Alan said: "During the months we filmed together, baby Tonka and I became good friends, playing and grooming each other and just generally larking about. "It's horrible to think he might be in a cage in a dark basement somewhere or have met some other fate, so I'm appealing to whoever knows what has become of him to please come forward and claim the reward."

After Tonka's rescue, the actor said: "I feel so emotional about this great news. When I met Tonka ... I made a true friend, and I was honoured that he thought of me as a fellow chimp."