The Chimpanzee (Chimps) is the closest living relative to humans. Chimps are very adaptable because they are not fussy eaters. Their preferred staple food source comes from various fruits of the forests, but they will also eat leaves, buds and blossoms. It is only when they reach an age of 4 years old or over that they will become slightly more picky and pick only the ripest fruits with 80 different types of plant food. In fact, chimps will spend up to 8 hours a day searching and eating food, and occasionally will supplement their diet with meat from goats or young antelopes or even young baboons, colobus monkeys and blue monkeys. Chimps are some of the most intelligent animals in the world and will often use tools such as sharp rocks to open fruits with a hard shell and other purposes. However, despite chimp’s being omnivorous and having a diverse diet, their habitat is always in forests which can provide them ripe fruits. Because of this, Chimps are only found in countries in Africa that have substantial forests to live in, such as the long belt of forest that stretches between Senegal all the way passed the Congo River and as far East as Uganda and Tanzania. Chimps are intelligent, noisy and very sociable and they can have from 10 up to 100 individuals in a group. Like the gorilla, the chimpanzee is endangered almost exclusively because of human poaching and conservation efforts are hampered by a long gestation period (8 to 9 months, the same as humans), habitat destruction and hunting.
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