At the Detroit Zoo
The Great Apes of Harambee – located in the African Forest – is home to 11 chimpanzees, including the newest addition, Zuhura (Swahili for “morning star”), born to first-time mother Chiana in August 2013. She joins youngsters Akira, an adorable female born in July 2011, and her high-energy brother Ajua, born in September 2008. Imara is the dominant male and father to all three young chimpanzees. Trixi is the dominant female in the habitat and is described as wise and calm. She is mother to twins Tanya and Nyani. Tanya likes playing with the other young chimps while carrying Akira on her back. Nyani enjoys doing her own thing and prefers to be alone. Abby is a smart and silly female who can be seen sticking her tongue out. She is the mother of Chiana, who often instigates rough play. Bubbles is the most excitable of the females and vocalizes enthusiastically when pumpkins and piñatas are involved in enrichment. Bahati is a quiet adult male that has a sweet side and loves to play chase with the other chimps. Visitors often ask why they can’t see the chimpanzees at all times, and this is because of the large size of their habitat. The Great Apes of Harambee is a 4-acre habitat that also houses western lowland gorillas and drills. The primates spend their days foraging, grooming and playing, just as they would in their native African environment.
The chimpanzee has long black or brown hair covering its body, but has no hair on its face, ears, hands or feet. It has pink skin at birth but, as it grows, the skin turns black. The chimpanzee has opposable thumbs, fingernails and toenails, just like humans. Its small face has a defined brow, small nostrils and a small muzzle.
The chimpanzee shares more than 98 percent of the same genetic material with humans, making it our closest living relative.
The chimpanzee is one of the few animal species that makes and uses tools. Examples include using sticks to catch insects and stones to crack open nuts.
Chimpanzees live in large groups called communities.