ARE CHIMPS EXTINCT?

Are Chimps Extinct? No, But They're Headed For Extinction In The Wild. Photo:Wikimedia Commons

Are Chimps Extinct? No, But They're Headed For Extinction In The Wild. Photo:Wikimedia Commons

ARE CHIMPS EXTINCT?

That’s a question that students often ask us here at All About Wildlife.com. Plenty of chimpanzees are bred and raised in captivity, so it seems unlikely that chimps will ever go completely extinct. However, what the students really mean by their question is, Are chimps extinct in the wild?

The answer is no, the chimpanzee is not extinct in the wild—at least not yet. But chimps are critically endangered throughout their range. That means that their population numbers are very low and are in danger of dropping even lower because of habitat loss and illegal hunting.

In the chimps case, habitat loss means that people keep cutting down their rain forest habitat for the timber it contains. People in Africa where they live also hunt them for their meat. Each year, people kill more wild chimps than are born each year, which means that if more is not done to protect chimpanzees, they will become extinct in the wild.

The picture to the left is of a group of young chimpanzees whose parents have been killed by poachers. The chimps are being raised by volunteers and researchers at the Tchimpounga Sanctuary (part of the Jane Goodall Institute) in the Congo.

Sadly, in about a decade, the answer to the question Are chimps extinct? could change to Yes.

Further Information About Chimps

Where Do Chimps Live?
What Do Chimps Eat?

VIDEO

Chimps Make and Use Tools

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