Abeke and Bamidele (Left to right)

Wild Chimp Imitation

Female and Male

14 and 4

Imitation is a very important skill for learning. Young will copy the actions of those around them as they learn how to do things and react to stimuli. Chimpanzee are no different. But this is not a skill that all apes have, in fact, most apes are terrible at it. This just goes to show how close we are to our cousins.

Young chimps will often imitate as they learn how to use tools, how to climb, how to make a nest. A young chimpanzee will often be seen pulling leafy sticks down like their mother will when its time to build a nest. By observing their community and copying, young chimps will be able to learn all the skills necessary for survival.

Imitation is also seen on a spontaneous level. Chimps have been seen to catch yawns, just like we do. This has always been known as a sign of empathy. But it’s not just yawns, like human babies, chimps will mimic any facial expression. These sorts of imitations are not about learning any new skills, its more about social bonding.

​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: