C is for Chimpanzee
Gorgeous isn’t he? A chimpanzee in the wild. This photo was taken by David Schenfeld and is on Flikr. I’ve always been fascinated by the fact we share so much DNA, although further research has shown it isn’t quite as much as previously stated, we have definitely both descended from a common ancestor, around 4-6 million years ago – relatively recently, really!
The Chimp and Me
The chimpanzee, the chimpanzee,
a similar simian to me,
same DNA to the extent
of 98 or so percent –
we’re 75 percent iguana,
and also half of a banana,
and – both the chimpanzee and me
are 60 percent of a flea…!
If we are 98 percent or so chimpanzee, then chimpanzees are 98 percent or so human – and deserve (as I think all animals do) the same rights as us – food, water, clean air, space to live, the tools to learn, grow and have fun.
Sadly, humans are not allowing chimps most of the above – we are encroaching on their habitat at an ever increasing speed and in some places like the Ivory Coast their population has dropped by 90 percent in the last twenty years.
There is something you can do about this – the UK is still the second largest EU importer of illegal hardwood from rainforest. Please do check that anything you buy (furniture, garden included, decking, ornaments, building materials, windows, doors etc.) are made from sustainably sourced wood. If they are, they will have a FSC label.
If you’d like to do more then please consider supporting the World Wildlife Fund, who are fighting to help chimps in many ways, including:
Liaising with Governments to protect them through anti-poaching laws and effective law management
The establishment of managed national parks
The encouragement of the sustainable use of forest resources
The development of trans-boundary collaboration to develop partnerships between neighbouring countries
OR, if you would like to help rescued chimpanzees find a new home, you might consider Jane Goodall’s charity. This is one of the most beautiful videos I’ve seen.
Poem © Liz Brownlee
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