It’s believed that Uganda is left with only about 5,000 chimpanzees and these are conserved in the zoos, sanctuaries and a few remaining tropical rain forests like Kibale, Kyambura, Budongo, Semliki and Karinzu. If you are looking at a primate safari, look no further! This is the best destination to see chimpanzees in their natural habitat within the whole world. Here are some interesting things you probably didn’t know about Uganda’s chimpanzees;
Chimpanzees have large bodies with four limbs and share 98% of the human genes, making them our closest living relative on earth and above all the most intelligent primates.
Chimps give birth every after 4-5 years and look after their infants for 10-12 years before they are old enough to cater for themselves. These species live in a population that split up and join again later unlike gorillas that stay together .They have cultural differences and different life styles.
Chimpanzees can use sticks, stones to break nuts, sticks to fish for termites and make sponges from leaves to soak up water for drinking from hole in trees. Chimpanzees periodically organize hunts to catch monkeys or small antelopes.
It is illegal to keep, kill and capture a Chimpanzee in Uganda. The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) can assist in the rescue of illegally held animals.
Chimpanzees are endangered species because they are rare and declining rapidly across Africa. International law protects chimps because they are threatened by extinction. Activities of Human beings are the main cause of the decline in the population of Chimpanzees and these include:
-Chimpanzees are hunted for meat in some parts of Uganda and in other neighboring countries like Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) among other nations.
-Chimpanzees are losing their home in Uganda through deforestation. Over 15 years ago, over 800 sq Kms of forest has been cut down accounting to Chimp distinction.
-Chimps are also hunted for trade. For every baby Chimpanzee caught in the wild, approximately 10 chimpanzees die in the process. This is especially in our neighboring DR. Congo.
-The endangered species is also killed or mutilated by wire traps set for antelopes in the forests. 25% of Chimpanzees studies in Uganda have injuries from these traps.
Measured taken to conserve chimpanzees:
The Uganda government has set aside land to save the remaining chimpanzees mainly in zoos, Sanctuaries like Ngamba Island sanctuary and safari parks.
Rules and regulations have been put in place to ensure that chimps and their ecosystem are conserved.
These conservation areas have become famous safari destinations in Uganda, since many people come from all parts of the world to see these great apes which are our relatives.