Chimpanzee is an exciting primate which shares almost 98% DNA with the human being.
It should be noted that, only 21 African countries host Chimpanzees and among which include Uganda, Rwanda and so on. Chimps used to be used to be found in 25 countries and it is estimated that within 30 years 10 countries will have lost all their chimpanzees. The population of chimps is declining due to poaching, diseases, human encroachment to forest reserves among others.
It is estimated that, there are only 4950 chimpanzees left in Uganda. 94.4% of sub-counties in Uganda have more people than all the chimpanzees in the whole country.
Chimpanzees and other primates can be seen in Uganda more easily than anywhere else in the world. They already attract many tourists and researchers that are visiting Uganda and generate revenue to the country.
Chimpanzees give birth every 4-5years and look after their young ones for 10 – 12 years before they are old enough to survive on their own.
Chimpanzees live in communities that split up and join again later unlike gorillas who stay together.
Chimpanzees have cultural differences –communities have different life styles.
Chimpanzees can use tools, like stones, sticks and so on to crack nuts, sticks to fish for termites, and make sponges from leaves to soak up water for drinking from hollows in trees.
Chimpanzees periodically organize hunts to catch monkeys or small antelopes however; this is done on rare auctions.
Like human beings, Chimps are intelligent apes and form families with family heads, community heads and so on.
In the wild, chimpanzees live in large groups of 15 to 120 individuals. They communicate with one another through a complex, subtle system of vocalizations, facial expressions, body postures, and gestures.
In their natural habitats, chimpanzees are known to use plants with medicinal value to self-medicate themselves.
The time a female chimpanzee is pregnant, known as the gestational period, is 230 days.
At birth, a chimpanzee weighs about four pounds and has a white tuft of fur on its rump.
In their natural habitat, chimpanzees nurse for 5 years. During this time, they learn what to eat and what to avoid by watching their mothers and other adult chimpanzees.
Chimpanzees begin wandering short distances from their mothers at about 8 months of age.
Chimpanzees enter adulthood at about 12 years of age. Chimpanzee mothers may enjoy life-long bonds with their adult sons and daughters.
While it is easy to notice the differences in primates and humans, there are many similarities in self-expression. Chimpanzees, like humans, use facial expressions to convey emotions.
Also 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.
The adult chimpanzees are estimated to be at least twice as strong, and perhaps even seven times as strong, as humans. This trait is one of the reasons that people who have chimpanzees as pets often end up giving their chimp to an organization like Save the Chimps.
Chimpanzees have 32 teeth which are used to chew feeds.
Chimpanzees’ body temperature is the same as humans, at 98.6 degrees.
Standing upright, and adult chimpanzee can be as much as 5 feet tall and weigh up to approximately 150 pounds.
Even though chimpanzees’ habitat is often near water, chimpanzees cannot swim, due to the structure and density of their bodies.
A chimpanzee’s senses of sight, taste, and hearing are similar to those of humans.
Like humans, chimpanzees eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Chimpanzees not only have opposable thumbs, like humans, but they also have opposable big toes, so they can grab things with their hands and their feet.
While humans have blood types A, B, O, and AB, chimpanzees have only A or O.
Many older chimpanzees suffer from cardiac disease and take the same medications that humans take for heart conditions.
Chimpanzees can live for more than 50 years. This is another reason why chimpanzees that were purchased as pets often end up at sanctuaries and refuges.
Chimpanzee Tours in Africa
If you are interested in see the chimpanzees in their natural habitat, take a tour to East African countries like Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda among others. Tanzania tours offer a great opportunity to see abundant wildlife including the wildebeest migration, and chimps are found in Gombe stream National Park. Rwanda tours on the other have offer an opportunity not only to see chimpanzees in Nyungwe National Park but also gorillas in Volcanoes National Park as well as historical museums and genocide memorial site. In Uganda, your tour package offers big game viewing, mountain gorillas, unique cultures and chimpanzees in Kibale Forest, Murchison Falls and Budongo forest among others.
Visit http://www.savethechimps.org for more information about Chimpanzees, their ways of life, threats and challenges to their conservation.