'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' Update: So How Many Apes Are There in San Francisco in Real Life?

'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' Update: So How Many Apes Are There in San Francisco in Real Life?

Aug 24, 2011

Warning: Minor spoilers ahead ...

Those who've watched this summer's Rise of the Planet of the Apes know that it features an awful lot of apes who just happen to reside in the San Francisco area. Toward the end of the film, Caesar joins forces with the rest of the caged apes in the primate shelter and exact revenge upon their captors while escaping to freedom. After stopping by the lab and a local zoo to free those apes, Caesar storms toward the Golden Gate Bridge with what appear to be at least 100 apes.

That's a lot of apes for one city, and the sheer size of the group of apes from San Francisco was a reoccurring joke heard outside movie theaters and on Twitter in the days that followed the film's release. But is there any real-life truth to it? How many apes really do reside in and around the San Francisco area?

Well, Slate did some research and according to their estimate there are 25 apes in the San Francisco area, including Oakland (11 apes), San Francisco (12 apes) and Woodside, Calif., which houses 2 apes and is 34 miles from the city. Other random facts they dug up: There are no primate shelters or labs that would house apes in the San Francisco area, and it's also illegal to privately own one of the animals. So if James Franco's character really was caught housing his own personal ape, chances are they'd remove it from his house and put it in a zoo.

So fear not, San Fran, your city is in no immediate danger of an ape takeover. However Los Angeles is a different story ...

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Peter Lake