Chimpanzees are the key charisma in Kalinzu Forest Reserve. Chimpanzees are currently found in 21 African countries only. Researchers and conservationists believe that in 10 years, Chimpanzees may become extinct in 10 more countries in Africa. Even though 5,000 or more chimpanzees are found in Uganda, 90% of the chimpanzees’ population has been lost in the past 80 years.
Chimpanzees are interesting because they look and behave almost like humans. They share at least 98% of their DNA with humans. Chimpanzees give birth every 5 years, taking care of their young until they are about 12 years old. Chimpanzees live in large communities each characterised by a different culture. They are also very intelligent and known to use a variety of tools and tricks to hunt insects, smaller primates and antelopes. Unlike gorillas, chimpanzee communities evolve with female adolescents, particularly those living in the group to join others.
The greatest threat that imposes chimpanzees in Africa is the loss of habitat through deforestation. Chimpanzees are sometimes hunted by tribes in some countries like the Congo for their meat or sold as pets to unlawful animal collectors. Uganda has lost thousands of chimpanzees in the last century to poachers’ and hunters’ snares with other traps set up for other animals like antelopes. However, the Ugandan government has taken action, declaring the killing of chimpanzees illegal, and also partnered with wildlife conservation Agencies like the Chimpanzee sanctuary in Ngamba Island to protect chimpanzees. Conscious and strict measures were passed at all major national parks and forest reserves for the protection of wildlife in the country and if caught in the act of killing any form of wildlife you’ll be booked