Wild Chimp Foraging
Chimpanzees spend a good amount of their time foraging. Their diet is mainly made up of fruit but also leaves, leaf buds, seeds, blossoms, stems, pith, bark, and resin. A study found that 64.5% of their time was spent solely on fruit! They have also been known to eat honey, soil, insects, birds, eggs, and small primates.
Foraging is also used as a way to build cohesion within the community. They can often work together when it comes to foraging, alerting their peers to a tree with fruit and sharing the bounty with everyone. Of course, there are times when chimps can be a bit selfish when it comes to food and aren’t the best at sharing.
It was also found that chimps have begun to adapt the way they forage, choosing to stay in mature primary forests rather than moving into areas where there are humans. This could be because of bad experiences when they have come across humans who can often react negatively when chimps come into their settlements. In desperate times chimps have come into villages searching for food, mainly to grab easy to grab items such as fruit. In the worst, most desperate situations, they have been known to grab small children. For these actions, the village will often kill the chimp to stop it happening again. Unfortunately, with deforestation and human expansion, these conflicts are something that will keep occurring unless we give the chimps more space to thrive.
HOW TO HELP
Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while studying, the public will be able to meet individual animals. This will help them to realise that there are apes with unique personalities, thoughts and emotions. The loss of one individual is just as devastating as losing an individual human.
With public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. Through this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love. With love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save the great apes.
The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtags #LoveTheLast and #ChimpsAreFamily to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.
To help protect the great apes you can adopt a chimp and help them via the WWF: https://www.worldwildlife.org/