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Chimpanzees Uganda

Chimpanzees at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Chimpanzees are wild apes categorised into two the pans and Bonobo, mostly live in Central Africa, East Africa and West Africa found in trees, rain-forest, grasslands and savanna .They are primates closest relative to humans with 98% DNA next to Gorillas and baboons.

These Apes are wise, extremely clever and intelligent animals compared to other animals and have been able to learn basic human sign language known as Washoe and also communicate like humans with facial expressions, gestures and sound. These Apes have finger nails instead of claws, they can focus on one object and always depend on vision than smell.

A lot of people mistake the chimpanzee with monkeys but both have a number of differences, the apes live longer, have body size, longer brains while as monkeys have tails which apes do not have. Chimpanzees are Omnivorous apes which feed on a variety of food, fruits, ants, insects occasionally hunt meat and always eat on top of trees rarely seen on the ground.

A chimpanzee goes through an estrous period of 34-35days, becomes sexually mature at 7years of age, during adolescences; females will migrate to another community group living the infants with their sisters. On heat the skin is pink and swollen, it can mate with several males after it will go through a gestation period of 8.5months with one infant it’s rare to produce twins.

When the infant is born it will have a pink face, with little black back hairy body able to suckle breasts like humans, sit-up to 5 months as well as standing on support for 6 months and can stay close to the mother for protection, grooming, and parental care.

The infant will be carried in front for 6months as well as riding on the mother’s back, these mothers always travel alone with their off springs. The chimpanzee will start weaning at 4-5years, by 13years its ready to be independent then it will start to live, eat alone and distance itself from the mother though in a sub community.

The females are called the empress and can weigh 26 – 30kgs while the males which are called black back can weigh 35 – 70kgs and live for a period of 40years in the wild different from the captive ones which can live up to 50years but after 20years they will grow grey hair on their backs.

The chimpanzee are arboreal which have been seen swinging through trees, feeding their young ones, using tools like rocks to crush nuts and sticks to capture termites, building sleeping nests on trees during night hours.

They can walk on all four legs and walk with two feet if they want because its rare for them to do so, they live in a community of about 15 – 100 several family members but later split into a number of subgroups with the male as the leader in case of an attack or disturbance they can fight, attack enemies. The chimpanzee’s predators are humans and leopards which have been seen with injuries during and after the attack.

Chimpanzees are endangered animals killed for bush meat, their habitats are destroyed for lodging and mining. When poached the mother is killed and the baby will fall off the tree and taken by poachers. It is also said that 6000 chimpanzees are killed every year by their predators.

In Uganda we only have the pan chimpanzees which are found in Kibale National park south of Uganda. This park can be accessed through Kampala the capital city of Uganda and also the Ngamba Island in Entebbe which is situated on the 100acres on Lake Victoria and has a number of orphaned chimpanzees.

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