by Conscious Reminder
Chimpanzees or chimps, together with humans, gorillas, and orangutans are part of the Hominidae family or commonly known as the great apes. These natives of sub-Saharan Africa are often mistaken for monkeys, but genetically they are way more similar to us, humans, than to any monkey out there.
The easiest way to distinguish an ape from a monkey is the tail. Check if there is one and you will tell the difference easily.
The members of the Hominidae family like chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, gibbons, and humans lost their tails somewhere along the evolutionary path, while monkeys still have one.
Along with bonobos, chimpanzees are humans’ closest living relatives.
We share approximately 98% of our DNA with chimps, so it’s fair to say that chimps are 98% human, and we are 98% chimpanzee.
Unfortunately, chimpanzees are on the list of endangered species, like many other animals.
Ape population used to be thriving throughout Africa and spreaded from southern Senegal through Central Africa to western Tanzania. They covered an area almost as big as the USA.
The IUCN estimates between 170,000 and 300,000 chimps remain in the wild.
Bonobos are a much smaller population somewhere in the 30-50k range.
The vast majority of chimps live in the wild, with only a few thousand in captivity.
One recent census in the Ivory Coast revealed that the chimp population there had decreased 90% in just the past twenty years.
Reunited 25 years later
Twenty five years ago Linda Koebner was a part of a program that focused on getting several lab chimps reintroduced to the wild.
During her work she befriended Doll and Swing, two chimpanzees who were locked for years in behind bars before seeing the sun or touching the grass again.
Linda decided to pay a visit to her old friends and see if they would remember her.
The resulting emotional footage became the award winning film Wisdom of the Wild and it’s going to make you cry!
Video curtesy of Argofilms
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