Not only are chimpanzees smart, capable of building and using tools, they also demonstrate a range of emotions far greater than what we may have ever thought possible, including grief and mourning.
At the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center, Dorothy, a beloved 40 year old chimp, passed away. The photo on the right, by Monica Szczupider shows the other chimps watching in pained silence as Dorothy, is wheeled past them and prepared for burial at a sanctuary in Cameroon. The amazing story is featured in National Geographic. Source: Monkeys in Mourning. (Note that chimpanzees are actually apes not monkeys, since they don't have a tail, but I digress.) Notice that the chimps have their arms wrapped around each other and are silent, even though they are normally quite vocal. Once again we are reminded that chimpanzees have so many qualities that us humans can relate to.
Why Chimpanzees Need Our Help
Chimpanzees are an endangered species. Their population is estimated to be between 150,000 - 235,000. They now only live in 13 out of the original 25 African countries they used to inhabit and only 6 of those countries have healthy breeding populations.
Chimpanzee's biggest threat is that they're hunted for bushmeat which is consumed by humans. This needs to stop if chimpanzees are to survive - more info on Bushmeat. Habitat loss and deforestation are also threats to chimpanzees. The illegal capture of chimpanzees for pets or amusement is also threatening chimpanzees, not to mention it leaves to a poor life for the chimp. Jane Goodall estimates that for every baby chimp taken illegally for the pet trade, 10 are killed since the chimpanzee family will try and protect the baby chimp. Source: Save Chimpanzees from Extinction.
Help Save Chimpanzees
- Click to Feed a Rescued Primate, each click generates donations from sponsors. You may click once a day, every day. 100% of the donations raised go directly to the Jane Goodall Institute, which runs sanctuaries in Africa where orphaned chimpanzees can be cared for and given the chance to live reasonably full lives in spacious conditions.
- Sign the petition Stop the Bushmeat Trade/Hunting of Primates
- Volunteer with chimpanzees at IDA Africa In Defense of Animals
- Shop at the Jane Goodall Institute. Profits generated help save chimpanzees
- Purchase artwork done by chimpanzees at IDA Africa.
- Adopt a chimpanzee at Save the Chimps, a chimpanzee sanctuary in Florida
- Sign a petition to Ban Primate Experiments in Europe
- Check out more chimpanzee volunteer opportunities with Save Chimpanzees from Extinction