Chimpanzee Behaviour is something you can not study and finish in one day and therefore requires one to take their time and observe every detail of the life of a chimp. The chimpanzees are among the endangered mammal species in Uganda. Kibale national park is the major destination for chimpanzee trekking and chimpanzee habituation activities, even though it can be done in other places like Kalinzu forest along Kasese-Mbarara highway, Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park, Ngamba island in lake victoria, Kaniyo Pabidi of Murchison falls, and Bugondo forest among others.
Kibale national park has the highest population of chimpanzees on the whole of the African continent with over 1500 chimpanzees; it is also called the primate capital of the world since it is the best when it comes to both population and number of species of primates on the continent. The chimpanzees are interesting and funny primates to watch and make the highlight of primate safaris in Uganda and other African countries after the mountain gorillas.
The chimpanzees are the closest animals to a human being in that the chimpanzees share almost 98% of the human genetic blueprint, DNA. This fact can make you believe in the early scientists claims that humans came from chimpanzee, true, humans and the chimpanzees are thought to share the same ancestor who lived long ago about eight million years. It is, perhaps, the DNA, a basis for this archeological finding. Chimpanzees, when found in the wild, are wild animals, however, for many years have been taken and tamed as domestic pets. Also, habituated chimpanzees are familiar to human encounters; the chimpanzee habituation process can take about two years.
The chimpanzees are diurnal animals and they start there day early in the morning. The chimpanzees are very active during the daylight, however, the night is their time to rest unlike the different changes over time in the world. All they do through the day is a hunt and searching for food as well as resting up in the tree branches during the hot weather; the young ones are very playful and love jumping from tree branches to another, but still, under the mothers watch care.
The chimpanzees move in quite large groups consisting of over 30-60 members, called communities. The male chimpanzee wakes up early in the morning and leads the community through the forest trees. The chimpanzees are easily adaptable to the rainforests of Africa such as Kibale forest, woodlands and some grassland such as Queen Elizabeth national park.
The chimpanzees are well known for being knuckle walkers (walking on all four limbs), they sometimes stand and walk upright like humans. The chimpanzees are strong and use their hands to swing from one tree to another. They also stay on land but most time is spent on trees where they mostly eat from. They also sleep in the trees as they make their nests in the trees by bending tree branches and aligning them with twigs and leaves.
These primates mainly eat fruits and plants as their main diet. They are selective when it comes to fruits and they only eat the ripening fruits. The chimpanzees also feed on eggs and insects such as termites and sometimes flesh from small animals and birds. They eat the insects as snacks during the day and meat is just a supplement to the main vegetarian diet.
These primates are unique from other animals in the wild. The chimpanzees know how to use tools when hunting for food. The chimpanzees make and use sticks to retrieve the termites from the ant’s hill. The chimpanzees use stones to crack their nuts. They also employ chewed leaves as a sponge to soak up water for drinking. They are really canning to the extent of learning some sign language used by humans.
The female chimpanzee has no specific time for reproduction; the chimpanzees give birth any time in the year mainly to only one child. The mothers take close care of their infants, and when they start moving, the little ones cling onto the backs of their mothers up to the age of two years. The female chimpanzee becomes sexually reproductive at the age of 13 years, however, the male is not considered adult until it is 16 years and above.
All the above behavioral trait of the chimpanzee proves the relationship they have with the humankind. However, this mammal species of apes has suffered a lot in the hands of humans through poaching, killings and being taken as pets and circus pets from their natural habitats. This has led to the reduction of the chimpanzee population in Africa. Hope is still left in Kibale national park “the primate capital of the world” as the only destination where you stand 100% chance of finding the chimpanzees anywhere in the park, even close to your lodging facility.