We have for long explored the similarities between Humans and Apes and there are even evolutionary studies linking our descent to be from primates. In many of these studies, the Chimpanzee is one of the most common names that jump out.
No surprise, just like humans, chimps are highly social animals, care for their offspring for years, and can live to be over 50. In fact, chimpanzees are our closest cousins; we share about 98% of our genes.
In their habitat in the forests of Central Africa, chimpanzees spend most of their days in the treetops. When they do come down to earth, chimps usually travel on all fours, though they can walk on their legs like humans for as far as a mile, are highly intelligent, and are known to use tools.
Chimpanzees shape and use sticks to retrieve insects from their nests or dig grubs out of logs. They use stones to smash open tasty nuts and employ leaves as sponges to soak up drinking water.
They can even be taught to use some basic human sign language and have even traveled to outer space.
An Endangered Species
Massive deforestation and clearing of precious forest land for agriculture, logging, mining, or other human development are one main reasons for biodiversity loss, and chimpanzees are no exception to this catastrophe.
In certain areas, they are also hunted for their meat or poached for illegal animal trade.
Chimpanzees are also susceptible to infectious diseases, with many of them being victims of the Ebola virus. According to The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), they are classified as Endangered with their population decreasing rapidly.
Source: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species | IUCN
Protection of Chimpanzees with Dr. Jane Goodall
Equipped with little more than a notebook, binoculars, and her fascination with wildlife, Jane Goodall braved a realm of unknowns to give the world a remarkable window into humankind’s closest living relatives.
Through nearly 60 years of groundbreaking work, Dr. Jane Goodall has not only shown us the urgent need to protect chimpanzees from extinction; she has also redefined species conservation to include the needs of local people and the environment.
Today she travels the world, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees and environmental crises, urging each of us to take action on behalf of all living things and the planet we share. In 1977, she founded the Jane Goodall Institute to ensure that her vision and life’s work continue to mobilize the collective power of individual action to save the natural world.Her exemplary work in this field has earned her the nickname – ‘The Chimpanzee Lady'.
'JANE' FILM SCREENING
Join Green Initiatives and Roots & Shoots' (Beijing) special Earth Day 2021 screening of Jane, a 2017 American biographical documentary film directed and written by Brett Morgen about primatologist, ethologist, and anthropologist Jane Goodall.
Set to a rich orchestral score from legendary composer Philip Glass, the film offers an unprecedented, intimate portrait of Jane Goodall — a trailblazer who defied the odds to become one of the world’s most admired conservationists.