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Part of the ‘great ape’ family, like gorillas and orangutans, chimps often seem very human to us, and with good reason. Like us, they are highly intelligent and form complex social relationships. They are found in Central and Southern Africa and, in the wild, will live in groups of between 20 and 100 individuals, with one dominant male at the head of the family.

Also like us, chimpanzees are extremely expressive and use their facial expressions to communicate – a scared chimp will bear its teeth, whilst an excited chimp will open its mouth wide with teeth exposed.

Chimps can also solve simple problems and are able to learn sign language to communicate with humans! They can even learn symbols for objects and actions and have been known to combine these in a way that resembles spoken phrases.

Conservation status | Endangered

Fact Sheet

Scientific name

Pan troglodytes






15-30 years in the wild, 30 - 60 years in captivity

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