For three weeks in 1996, the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark displayed a most unusual exhibit when a young couple, Malene Botoft and Henrik Lehmann, agreed to climb into an approximately 300 sq. ft. enclosure in the Primate House of the zoo and live their lives “under the eyes of zoo visitors—all to dramatize the fact that people are animals too.”
Their contrived habitat was a fully furnished, one bedroom apartment including a TV, computer and fax machine. "We lived here just like we live at home," says Botoft, a newspaper secretary who published a twice-weekly column on her experience.
While they lived on display all day, the couple was permitted to leave their enclosure at night to get some exercise and roam around the zoo. "I envy the spider monkeys," says Lehmann. "They can swing on their ropes while I'm cooped up in here. They're freer than I am in this little planet of the apes."
It’s no wonder that Mr. Lehmann didn’t feel “free”—he had locked himself in a prison—not behind the closed doors of an exhibit, but behind the closed doors of a faulty world view. When we see ourselves as nothing more than highly evolved primates, life becomes limited, lacking any real meaning or purpose.
But unlike the spider monkeys, who indeed are mere primates, Mr. Lehmann has the freedom to unlock the door and step into a higher plain of existence. He can escape the confines of “this little planet of the apes” and live with a sense of purpose that is worthy of one who has been created in the very image of God.
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27).