Sanctuary Project
Chimp facts

Chimpanzees, our closest living relatives

Chimpanzees are called our closest living relative because we share all but 1.4% of our DNA.
The chimpanzees' closest relation is us; not gorillas or orangutans.

Chimpanzees used to live throughout tropical Africa included 25 countries. Today, they are extinct in four of those countries and extinction can be expected soon in another five countries.

Number one threat is the bushmeat trade in which 6,000 chimpanzees per year are killed and eaten by humans. Also threatened to extinction by habitat destruction (logging and mining) and poaching for pet trade. When poached, mothers are killed and if baby survives fall of mother from tree, the baby is taken by poachers.

Their behavior and social structure, emotions, and intellectual abilities are also much like that of humans.

Wild chimpanzees live in large communities of 15 to 120 individuals and communicate with one another through a complex and subtle system of vocalizations, facial expressions, body postures and gestures.

The infant chimpanzee and the human child love to play for hours, learn by observation and imitation and show considerable curiosity.

Like human children, chimpanzees require support and affectionate contact in order to mature and integrate into their society.

Newborn chimpanzees are entirely dependent on their mothers for warmth, protection, transportation and nourishment. Chimpanzees in the wild nurse for 5 years and enter adulthood at about 13 years of age.

Chimpanzees can live for more than 50 years.

Chimpanzees make and use tools, such as cracking of nuts with sticks and stones, probing for honey and insects with twigs, and using wads of crumbled leaves to sponge drinking water from hard to reach places.

Like humans, chimpanzees have emotions similar to those we call joy, anger, grief, sorrow, pleasure, boredom, and depression. They also comfort and reassure one another by kissing and embracing.

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