Chimpanzees have a large range in central Africa that runs from southern Senegal to the Congo River and into western Uganda and Tanzania. Chimpanzees live in forest habitats in their home range, and Tanzania's Gombe National Park was developed just for chimpanzees.
There are around 300,000 chimpanzees living in the wild as of 2014, and most live in communities that are made up of around 150 chimps. Chimpanzees are quite social, and among all animals, they are the closest to humans in terms of genetic makeup. In fact, humans share 98 percent of their genes with chimpanzees.
Most of the time, chimpanzees prefer to stay in the treetops, venturing down only occasionally. Generally, chimps walk on all fours, but they are capable of walking for up to a mile in an upright position, just like their human counterparts. They show vast intelligence and use sticks to fish for termites in termite mounds.
Chimpanzees have a long life span and can live up to 50 years. They live with their mothers until around age 4, when they gain their independence. Their existence is threatened by the illegal wildlife trade, in which they are poached for bush meat and infants are stolen from their homes and sold for pets. The chimpanzee has already vanished in four countries, and populations are under pressure in others.