From the book:
"We need to give them the respect they deserve, as our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom."
Long used in mass media entertainment, chimpanzees are recognized and loved by people of all ages. In spite of their popularity, chimpanzees are threatened by a disappearing habitat, poaching and disease. In 1984, demand for lab chimpanzees skyrocketed when scientists discovered that chimpanzees could be infected with HIV. Only four years later, the chimpanzee's status moved from threatened to endangered.
Chimpanzee Rescue explains the innovative strategies conservationists are using to prevent its demise.
While much is being accomplished through increased public awareness and conservation management, much needs to be done. The recent Ebola outbreak, a deadly virus that also affects humans, devastated chimp populations in central Africa. It's a grim reminder of how biologically similar our species are.
About the Firefly Animal Rescue series:
The Firefly Animal Rescue identifies endangered and threatened species and what is being done to protect them. Combining lively, accessible text and stunning color photographs, each book provides a detailed overview of the species, describing its characteristics, behavior, habits, physiology and more.
"These attractive books are a call to action... fascinating readable accounts."
- School Library Journal
"Succinct introductions to the science and practice of wildlife conservation... written in accessible, lively language."
Patricia Bow is a former librarian who studied journalism.
Our Cousins, The Chimps
Six or seven million years ago, a common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees roamed across Africa. Although evolution has led us along separate paths, humans are still closer to chimps than to any other mammal. Scientists look to the chimps for clues as they explore how our remote ancestors lived. No wonder the chimpanzee holds a special place in our imagination.
A century ago, as many as two million chimpanzees inhabited Africa. Today, probably fewer than 200,000 remain in the wild. Some estimates put the figure as low as 110,000. Up to 3,500 chimps live in captivity, including nearly 1,200 in zoos. The animals are extinct in five of the 25 countries where they once lived, and reduced to scattered remnants in half a dozen others.
Chimpanzees and the closely related bonobos, along with gorillas and orangutans, are great apes. They are part of the primate order of mammals, which also includes humans, monkeys, and about 200 smaller species. But all four subspecies of chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and the single bonobo species (Pan paniscus) are endangered.
Still, despite all that human beings have done to chimpanzees, the animals are not yet doomed. It's often said that when you look into the eyes of a chimpanzee, you can't help but feel a flash of recognition. Thousands of scientists, wildlife officials and zoo and sanctuary workers have looked into those eyes. Their dedication and hard work -- along with a lot of help from animal lovers around the world -- may be enough to keep our closest cousins alive.
Our cousins, the chimps