Wild Chimp Hunting
One of the most interesting findings of Jane Goodall in the 60’s was that chimpanzees hunt and were not, as the current understanding stated herbivores. Like humans, they eat meat making them omnivores. It makes up about 3% of their diet and their favourite meat it the red colobus monkey.
Chimpanzees either hunt alone or in groups. Usually, groups are made up of males but on the occasion, females have been known to join in. They look for prey both on the forest floor and in the trees (they like to look up to see if their favourite monkey is about!) Once they have caught their prize, the bounty is shared with all the members of the community. It’s actually thought that this is the most important part of hunting as it involves sharing and the bonding it provides. It’s especially interesting as chimps don’t need meat to survive, they could perfectly happily live as vegetarians.
This behaviour could be another insight into our own evolution. Some chimps have been seen sharpening sticks with their teeth and using them as spears to hunt bushbabies. This could be a very similar system used by early humans. It shows a high level of intelligence, manipulating tools, strategic thinking, and social cohesion.
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/