“You can’t share your life in any meaningful way with an animal and not realize they have different personalities. Are their capabilities and emotions similar to ours? Absolutely!” Dr. Jane Goodall
Six Things You May Not Know About Chimps (Excerpted from the Jane Goodall website where you can learn everything you may have ever wanted to know and more about chimpanzees.)
• Chimpanzees are mankind’s closest relatives, and it is said that about 98% of human and chimpanzee DNA sequences are the same.
• Chimpanzees manufacture their own tools. This includes “spears” which they use to hunt for prey that hides in small holes in trees.
• Male chimps stand up to 1.7 meters tall, and weigh about 70kg. The females are smaller.
• Chimpanzees who live in the wild rarely make it past the age of 40. In captivity chimps can reach 60 years. Cheetah, chimp star of Tarzan films of the 1930s, is apparently still alive today. At the age of 76, he has outlived his human co-stars. (Update: One of the many chimps who played the character Cheetah, named Jigs IV, passed away on Christmas Eve day in 2011 due to kidney failure. He was 80 years old! He lived at Creative Habitats and Enrichment for Endangered or Threatened Apes (C.H.E.E.T.A) where he loved to paint and play the piano. Read more about the sanctuary here There’s a wonderful story here about the owner of the sanctuary who was inspired by Jane Goodall to open the sanctuary.)
• Chimpanzees are omnivores. In the wild they normally survive on fruit, but when fruit is scarce, chimps from various families will gather in large numbers, and hunt monkeys, using sophisticated strategies and efficient operation. The right to eat first presides with the alpha males, and chimpanzee social structures are highly political and complex.
• It is said that about 1,300 chimpanzees reside in 10 laboratories in the United States. Most of these labs apparently conduct “invasive research”. Chimps are still housed in the USA and Gabon for medical research, the only two countries still doing this. Note: The website may not be up to date — I’m researching the numbers as many have recently been released due to the work of PETA and other animal rights groups.)