The Facts

  • Genus/Species: Pan troglodytes
  • Conservation Status: Endangered
  • Location: Western and Central Africa



The Scoop

Noisy, Curious, Intelligent and Social 

Chimpanzees are great apes that are closely related to humans. They inhabit dense tropical rainforests and spend most of their time in trees. They can also be found in woodlands, bamboo forests, swamps, and even open savannahs. Chimpanzees live in communities composed of family groups. They are covered with black hair on most of their body except their fingers, palms, armpits, and bottoms of their feet. Chimpanzees have senses very similar to ours, including hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch. Their hands are very much like ours too, and they can grasp things with both hands.  Chimpanzees often use tools in the wild. They have been observed using sticks to obtain ants and termites and to scare away intruders. They also use chewed-up leaves like a sponge with which they sop up water to drink. 

Chimpanzees are approximately 4 ft. in height or around a 4-year-old kid’s height, but weigh almost as much as a 14-year-old boy or between 90 and 120 pounds. Chimpanzees are omnivores, meaning they eat a wide variety of foods. Chimps forage for food in the forests during the day, eating leaves, fruit, seeds, tree bark, plant bulbs, tender plant shoots, and flowers. They also eat termites, ants, and small animals. 

Habitat destruction is the greatest threat to the chimpanzee. Hunting and commercial exploitation have also led to a large scale decline in their population.  You can help save these curious and intelligent great apes by joining and/or donating to the Jane Goodall Institute, which founded the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center (TCRC), a safe haven for orphaned chimpanzee located in Pointe Noire, Congo. 


Did You Know? 

  • Chimpanzees use many gestures and expression to indicate needs and emotions.  For example a chimp will ask for food by extending its hand. A worried chimp puckers its face, while a frightened one will show its teeth.
  • Chimpanzees usually walk using all fours .They can walk upright too, if they need to.
  • Chimpanzees have no tails.
  • Chimpanzees feed and sleep in trees.


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