TOP TV presenter Piers Morgan has slammed PETA on live TV for destroying a photographer’s life over a monkey selfie.
Morgan was left furious when PETA’s director Elisa Allen broke into laughter over the case which left wildlife photographer David Slater broke.
Peta took Slater to court claiming the macaque monkey called Naruto owned the copyright to his own image after the photographer coaxed it into taking its own selfie.
But Morgan lost his cool as Allen made glib comments during the TV confrontation on the Good Morning Britain show.
He said: “I’ve got to ask you, haven’t you got anything better to do? Naruto hasn’t got a clue. Why did you have to poke your noses in and destroy this guy?”
Allen smirked as she replied: “We don’t speak monkey, but Naruto will most certainly benefit from this copyright.”
Having none of it, Morgan blasted Peta by pointing out the image would have brought more coverage to the macaques than PETA’s relentless pursuit of Mr Slater who was left with a £200,000 legal bill.
Morgan stormed: “David has done more good than harm to the macaques. And your reward for this guy is to fight some fatuous battle.”
The copyright battle was settled just before the confrontation with Mr Slater, 52, agreeing to donate 20 per cent of his future earnings from the photo to protecting the Indonesian macaque’s habitat.
Mr Slater has been dragged through the courts by PETA, which has used its financial muscle to sue him on behalf of the monkey.
Slater said the snap that was taken in Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 2011, had cost him “tens of thousands of pounds” in lost earnings and effectively ended his 17-year-career as a wildlife photographer.
Mr Slater also claimed that PETA was initially representing the wrong macaque and that it was not a male called Naruto in the photograph but a female called Ella.
The “Monkey see- Monkey sue” court case was earlier spiced up by the chocking U-turn by the primate specialist Antje Engelhardt, who claimed the activists did not care about the monkey or animal welfare in general.
Engelhard who is an associate professor at the John Moores University in the UK and has been studying monkey behaviour for 20 years stated that Peta was not in the case for the benefit of Naruto.
According to the expert Peta only cared about publicity and donations.