Chimpanzees are nourished mainly from fruits, but also occasionally from leaves, seeds, flowers, as well as some animal food, such as insects, small mammals, birds, eggs, and others. Chimpanzees even hunt other species of monkeys.
Habitat destruction, hunting as part of the “bush meat” phenomenon.
• Chimpanzees move mostly on ground, but they are also good tree climbers and spend the night hours and eating hours in the trees. Because of their close relation to humans, there has been much research on chimpanzees. The most outstanding researcher has been Jane Goodall, whose observations have taught us much about this species. Throughout the extensive research, it has been discovered that within each habitat area, special characteristics have developed among each chimpanzee population to distinguish them from other populations. For example, chimpanzees make extensive use of the tools they build and design for their local needs. In varying populations, it has been found that differing tools are used: in Tanzania, chimpanzees were observed hunting termites with the aid of sticks, something we have recreated here in the metal structure found on the right side of the exhibit. It is filled with honey, which the chimpanzees retrieve with the aid of sticks.
• Chimpanzees create an introduction cycle like that of humans. Mostly, the dominant male has the advantage in access to the female, but other males may find favor with her. Gestation lasts nine months, and the newborn remains with the mother for an extended period. At the age of four years, the child is weaned but remains with the mother for several years until reaching maturity at about age ten or eleven. Females remain with their mothers for their entire lives, while males separate from the mothers if they move to another group.
• Chimpanzees are currently in danger of extinction because of habitat destruction as well as a relatively new but fatal phenomenon of hunting for “bush meat.” Due to penetration of humans into the forests, a new industry has begun to develop – wild hunting of forest animals for sale of their flesh or as live animals. Chimpanzees suffer strongly from this hunting, which is mainly intended to answer the cruel demand for baby chimps as pets.
• Chimpanzees are social creatures.