The chimpanzee is our closest relative. In fact it is closer to a human being then to a gorilla. It is so closely related that a blood transfusion can be done between a human and a chimpanzee. They actually have the same blood as us, and same blood groups.
Chimpanzees can live to a very old age, the normal average age is around 50 years. However, there are individuals that have become much older in captivity, and some are still alive at the ripe age of 78. We have not discovered if female chimps have a menopause. They tend to be able to produce babies throughout their lives, which is different from the human.
A chimpanzee’s muscles are differently structured from a human and a chimpanzee, although not very tall, is extremely strong. A fully grown male chimpanzee is said to be as strong as seven well trained human men. It is quite noticeable that youngsters are much heavier then they look, and it is surprising what solid muscle mass even the very young ones consists of.
Females become sexually mature around the age of six and the males at around eight to ten years of age. Like humans, they are not fully grown when they become sexually mature. The males tend to reach maturity around the age of 15, and females around the age of twelve. Slightly earlier than humans in other words.
Twin birth occurs in chimpanzees, but is not very common. Normally, females give birth to one baby at a time. When the female gives birth to her first baby, it is always difficult for her to care for it properly, and it is not uncommon that the firstborn does not survive. It depends on what kind of mother they had. It also depends on how many births of siblings they have experienced in the group where they have acted as “nannies”, thereby gaining experience to care for a baby.
Males remain in the same group all their lives and stay close to their mother and brothers. They protect the group from other groups of chimpanzees that might attack them, and then they all work together like an army. They set up strict boundaries and are extremely protective of their territory, which they patrol daily making sure no intruders come in to compete for the food inside their territory.
The African Apes Foundation's primary target is to provide a safe haven for confiscated and displaced African apes. In addition, the Foundation will help to rescue other wildlife that are in the same precarious situation.