Chimpanzees are distinguished by their prominent ears, protrusive lips, arms that are longer than the legs, and no tail. Chimps usually live in groups of five to 125 individuals, but 15-40 is common. Groups follow a social hierarchy, led by an alpha male. They use facial expressions and calls to communicate with each other. Young chimpanzees ride on their mother's back for about 3 years, or until they are weaned. High levels of exploitation and loss of habitat quality due to human activities are causing continued chimpanzee population reductions in the wild.
- Conservation StatusEndangered
- Life span45-60 years
Body size50-155 lbs.
- Native habitat Tropical rainforest of western central Africa
- DietFruits, leaves, flowers, seeds, honey, occasionally small monkeys and deer
Chimpanzees in wild populations are highly threatened by poaching, disease, and habitat loss due to logging and mining.
We can take action to help protect chimpanzees and their habitats:
- Properly recycle your old electronics. Recycling your old phones and tablets can decrease the need for the materials needed to produce new ones. The mining of coltan is responsible for much of the habitat loss that threatens chimps and other great apes.
- Shop for sustainably sourced and certified palm oil products. Palm oil is in many foods, cleaning products, and toiletries in our stores today. When sourced unsustainably, it can have negative impacts on wildlife, habitats, and human rights. Download the app created by Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to help make good decisions at the supermarket. Search PalmOil Scan in your App Store.
- Use only FSC Certified paper products. This certification ensures that the products come from forests that are responsibly managed and provide social, economic, and environmental benefits. Look for the FSC logo on the products you purchase.
Sedgwick County Zoo supports the work of the Chimpanzee SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) program. AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums work together in SAFE programs for many animals to increase their conservation impact.
The Chimpanzee SAFE program contributes to the work of three field conservation projects in different regions of Africa:
- The Tonkolili Chimpanzee Project seeks to find methods of addressing chimpanzee conservation in a heavily anthropogenic area where human-chimpanzee interactions are common.
- The Ngogo Chimpanzee Project conducts scientific research to maintain the long-term study of the Ngogo community of chimpanzees in Kibale National Park, Uganda, and supports the education of local communities.
- CONGO-APES features the Goualougo and Mondika field sites which are the world's longest-running studies of chimpanzees and gorillas in the Congo Basin. Conservation-focused scientists, forest guides, and collaborators work together to inspire greater stewardship of the Congo's unique wildlife and ecosystems.
When you visit an AZA-accredited institution, you are supporting conservation efforts in the wild. Since 2015, the Chimpanzee SAFE program has donated $2.8 million to chimpanzee field conservation programs.