Wild Chimp Nest Making
Chimpanzees make their nests in the trees, bending down branches and leaves to make a comfortable leafy bed. High above any predators, chimps can feel safe while they get some shuteye, about 8-9 hours every night (similar to us).
They can be quite fussy about the trees they choose. The branches need to be extremely durable with no risk of them snapping and sending the chimp on an uncomfortable and potentially deadly plummet. A study in Uganda found that chimps loved to build their nests in a tree called the Ugandan ironwood, a very rare tree that only made up 9.6% of the trees in the area. Even so, 7 out of 10 times the chimps would seek them out.
All great apes, including us, are very unique in the fact that we build sleeping platforms or beds. Other primates don’t put in nearly as much effort, electing to fall asleep on branches. This shift to bed making happened sometime between 23-5 million years ago with the purpose of giving us a better night’s sleep. With more time in REM sleep, it improves cognition and memory, very important for our big brains!
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/