Wild Chimp Tool Use
When Jane Goodall went to the forests of Tanzania to study chimpanzees, the scientific community had a very different idea of mankind and our place in the world. Considered far superior to any other creature, the manipulation and use of tools was considered an innately human quality. So, when the young researcher observed the chimpanzee David Greybeard ripping off the leaves from a carefully chosen twig and using it to fish for termites, it sent the scientific community reeling. The discovery was so shocking it led the famous Dr Louis Leakey to declare, “Now we must redefine ‘tool,’ redefine ‘man,’ or accept chimpanzees as humans.”
Tool use could also point to a common ancestor between chimps and humans. It had commonly been thought that chimps could be imitating humans who used hammers to cut open fruit. But when a 4,300 year-old chimpanzee settlement was found on the Ivory Coast this theory could be safely tossed. Not only does the evidence show that chimps learnt to use and make stone tools themselves, but it also suggests that this behaviour was inherited from our common ancestor millions of years ago!
Chimpanzees use various tools for different purposes. The most famous of course is termite fishing. But the also use stones to crack nuts, chew leaves to act as sponges to suck up hard to reach water, and spears for hunting.
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/