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West African Chimpanzee

With the exception of the bonobo, the chimpanzee is man's closest living relative. Our similarities are striking in many respects - some examples are the human-like facial expressions, their intelligence and practical ability to solve problems and their habit of making tools.

Threat category according to IUCN
  • Least
    concern
  • Near
    threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically
    endangered
  • Utdöd
  • Class Mammals (Mammalia)
  • Order Primates (Primates)
  • Family Hominids (Hominidae)
  • Genus Pan
  • Species Pan troglodytes
  • Subspecies P.t. verus
Size

When standing upright, the chimpanzee measures approximately 1,5 m. It weighs 45–80 kg.

Ecology

Chimpanzees spend as much time on the ground as in the trees, but will sleep and eat mainly in the trees. They live in communities of 15-120 animals. They will partly utilize overlapping home ranges, but it is rare that all individuals in the community are together at once.

Food habits

The chimpanzee is mainly vegetarian, but will also eat insects or even meat. It may actively hunt and kill baboons, for instance.

Life

Approximately 30 years in the wild and reaching 50 years in captivity.

Threat category

Due to the slow reproductive rate, the chimpanzee is threatened by the often illegal deforestation. Another threat is poaching – chimpanzees and other mammals are at risk due to the increasing illegal trade with bushmeat. Adult chimpanzees are killed, while the young are kept as pets until they become too dangerous when reaching reproductive maturity. At that stage, they will often face the same tragic destiny as their parents.

Reproduction

The female is reproductively mature at the age of 8-10 years and has a gestation period of 8 months. When a female is in heat, her behind swells considerably. Just like in humans, the young chimpanzee is dependent on its mother for a long time.

Did you know?

Small chimpanzee babies learn to function socially in their group by observing and imitating the older animals. Through this, even more sophisticated behavioral repertoires are taught. In this way, a culture is created within the chimpanzee group, something that is often only associated with the human species.


The chimpanzees in Borås Zoo had unknown origins to 2012 when a long-standing genetic study among European zoos were able to show that they are from the West African subspecies. This is important for the zoos' conservation work.

Banded mongoose > < Common peafowl