Range and Habitat: Rainforests of Central Africa
Diet: Fruit, plants, eggs, meat, and insects
Life Span: Up to 50 years
Status in the Wild: Endangered
Threats to Survival: Over the years, chimpanzees were used in the pet trade,entertainment industry and for scientific studies. In recent years, they continue to be threatened by poaching for the bushmeat trade and destruction of their natural habitats.
- Fifty years ago,millions of chimps roamed the forests of Central Africa. Today it is estimated that fewer than 300,000 remain in the wild.
- The chimpanzee is not a monkey. Chimpanzees are one of the four great ape species. The other great ape species include orangutan, gorilla, and bonobo.
- Chimpanzees are the nearest relative to humans, sharing approximately 98% of our genetic blueprint. Highly intelligent, they are one of the few animal species to use and fashion tools.
- Unlike orangutans that are quite solitary, chimpanzees live in large social groups with as many as 20 to 100 individuals. The gestation of a chimpanzee is 7.5 months. The infant will remain with its mother until it reaches 7 to 8 years of age.
- Although chimpanzees spend a great deal of time on the ground, they build a nest each night in the trees of the rainforest. These nests are made with branches and leaves.