As a young child I always dreamed of meeting Jane Goodall. This incredible researcher and world-renowned primatologist has always inspired me to make a difference in this world one single step at a time. When I finally had the opportunity to meet Jane her talk really got me thinking…Who are the Great Apes?
Of course we all know about the famous Chimpanzees in Africa that Jane studied for so many years. She was the first researcher EVER to observe wild chimps using and manufacturing tools (like sticks and branches) to poke into termite mounds to collect the tasty morsels.
Don’t get confused…this is NOT a chimpanzee. This is a Bonobo. Bonobos are members of the Great Ape family and until recently most scientists considered them to be “pygmy chimps.” They actually are quite different than their cousins. Bonobos have a smaller head and ears and can walk upright more comfortably than chimps. Believe it or not Bonobos are our closest living relatives sharing 98.9% of our blood. Unfortunately they are the most endangered out of the Great Apes and are disappearing rapidly.
This is a picture of a Lowland Gorilla. Gorillas are the largest of the Great Apes and have fascinated people around the world for centuries. They live primarily along the equator in Africa in dense tropical rainforests.
Last but not least are the Orangutans. Unlike Chimpanzees, Bonobos, and Gorillas, Orangutans are solitary creatures that prefer a peaceful life above in the rainforest canopy. They also are the only Great Ape that is not found in Africa. They live in Borneo and parts of Sumatra.
All of our gorgeous Great Apes are disappearing at an alarming rate. The rapid depletion of their habitat, illegal hunting, and collection for the pet trade have all added to their demise. For more information on how you can help save these Great Apes please visit http://corbinmaxey.com/http://www.janegoodall.org/