The Swinging Chimps

If you are a regular visitor to our Zoo, the Chimpanzee habitat will always be at the top of your list, as our clever and lovely chimpanzees will captivate the hearts of your family with their cute waving tricks and their famous swing. Rocky the protector, Layla the wise, Suzy the social star, and the remaining of the group are the loungers. They will approach you once you are in front of their huge glass windows with a glossy look on their eyes saying “Let the fun begin”. 


Chimpanzees are great apes that are a lot different from monkeys, don’t you know the difference? Here is a little hint for you: whenever there is a tail it’s a monkey! Apes like Chimpanzees and gorillas do not have tails. If a Chimp stands straight it can reach approximately 1-1.7 meters tall and they normally weigh about 32-60 kilograms. In general, males are larger and more active than females. They are covered with brown or black hair coat and their faces are almost bare. Most of the time they will walk on all fours, but they can stand and walk upright for some distances. They have long arms, hands, and fingers that help them climb, leap and swing skillfully from branch to another. They sleep in the trees in a comfortable nest, which is made out of branches and leaves. Nests are built to help in avoiding the predators of the night, and to enjoy the colder breeze!   


 Unfortunately, Chimps are endangered species with a current population of 170 – 300 thousand. Their numbers are decreasing rapidly due to habitats destruction, hunting, and diseases, as humans are closer to them more than ever. For instance, human common illnesses, which can be cured with a simple of the counter prescription, can affect chimpanzees badly and can kill them in no time. Chimpanzee population used to spread in Africa across Equatorial Africa, from southern Senegal across the forest belt north of Congo River to western Uganda and western Tanzania! Can you imagine the numbers and widespread of these Chimpanzees in the past?  


Chimps are known to live in groups of 15 to 120 individuals using their complex vocalization, facial expressions, body postures, and gestures. Simply, they use real-life emojis where they show anger, joy, grief, sorrow, pleasure, boredom, and many more emotions. When an infant Chimp is born, he can’t part from his mother. Infants are completely dependent even in transportation, and during this nursing time until the age of 5, the baby Chimp will observe every move and act from adult Chimps and start mimicking every move! Somehow familiar, don’t you think so?!  At the age of 13, this little Chimp is considered an adult and can peacefully live to the age of 50. What is more fascinating than a mother Chimp? Her stunning ability to maintain a bond with her adult offspring and her offspring can maintain the same to create huge groups.   


Chimpanzees are omnivores; Yes they don’t eat bananas only! That said, they eat fruits, leaves, bark, insects, eggs, nuts, and small animals. You didn’t expect them to starve all year long waiting for bananas to ripe! However, they know when to pay a visit to the banana tree! Chimpanzees are known for spending the majority of their day looking for food and feast together where they share all their food. If you saw one in the forest then you are definitely in his territory. The smartest escape plan is to jump to the nearest deep pond, as Chimpanzees cannot swim due to their body’s structure and density, just make sure there are no Crocodiles or Hippos around! Chimpanzees are highly developed as their taste, sight, and hearing senses are similar to humans. Not to forget that Chimpanzees have a high ability to use different objects to snatch anything they want or to help in cracking anything open.  


The 14 of July 2020 is the World Chimpanzee day! Celebrate it with us by posting your most adorable Chimp photos and don’t forget to tag @AlAinZooUAE, or watch our short documentary with your little ones by clicking here.