Chimp FAQ's

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  1. How many chimps are left in the wild?
    At the turn of the century, at least 1 or possibly closer to 2 million chimpanzees were in 25 countries across West and Central Africa. Now, they number somewhere between 172,000 and 300,000 in all of Africa. Habitat loss, bushmeat hunting and poaching for infants are the three major causes for the decline of chimpanzees in the wild.
  2. What do chimpanzees eat and drink?
    Chimpanzees drink water. They eat fruits, nuts, seeds, blossoms, leaves and insects. Dr. Jane discovered that chimpanzees also eat the meat of smaller mammals. Before Dr. Jane’s discovery, chimpanzees were believed to be primarily vegetarians.
  3. What is the difference between a chimpanzee and a monkey?
    One of the biggest differences is that most monkey species have tails, whereas chimpanzees and other apes do not. Chimpanzees and other apes are much more similar to human beings in many respects.
  4. Do chimpanzees fight with each other?
    Dr. Jane discovered that chimpanzees do fight. Chimpanzees even engage in a primitive form of brutal “warfare.” In early 1974, a four-year war began at Gombe, the first record of long-term warfare in nonhuman primates.
  5. Do chimpanzees swim?
    In general chimpanzees do not like to swim. Chimpanzees have stocky bodies that prevent them from being strong swimmers. Many chimpanzees, however, enjoy splashing around and playing in water.
  6. Is 43 years in chimp years 43 years in human? Or is one chimp year like 7 human years?
    We all have heard a year in a dog’s life is equal to seven years in a human’s life. This is not true for chimpanzees. Chimpanzees are like us humans in so many ways, including how they age. In the wild, chimps can live to be 50 years old, while those in captivity can reach their sixties.
    Africa’s oldest known chimpanzee, Gregoire, celebrated his 60th birthday in 2004! Gregoire, who was rescued in 1997 from terrible conditions at the Brazzaville Zoo, lives a life of peace, relaxation and fun at the Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpunga Sanctuary in Africa. Dr. Goodall visited Gregoire on his special day, presenting him with a box full of oranges. He even had a birthday cake which he happily shared with the other chimps at the sanctuary. Gregoire died in his sleep in 2008.