At the Detroit Zoo
The Great Apes of Harambee – located in the African Forest – is home to 12 chimpanzees, including the newest addition, Zane, who was born in January 2020. Zane was nurtured by Detroit Zoological Society animal care staff for 5 months before uniting with adoptive mom, Trixi. Another youngster in the troop is Jane; she is the second baby born to mother, Abby. Abby also gave birth to daughter Chiana at the Detroit Zoo in 1994. Jane arrived in the early hours of the first World Chimpanzee Day in 2018, recognizing the day in 1960 when legendary primatologist and anthropologist Dr. Jane Goodall first traveled to what is now Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania to study the social interactions of wild chimpanzees. Other younger members of the troop include Zuhura, a female born in August 2013, female Akira, born in July 2011, and Ajua, born in September 2008. Imara is the dominant male in the habitat and Trixi is the dominant female in the habitat. Trixi is mother to twins Tanya and Nyani, and she is the adoptive mom of Zane. Tanya seems to enjoy playing with the other young chimps. Nyani prefers to do her own thing and spend time alone. Bubbles vocalizes enthusiastically whenever pumpkins and piñatas are placed in the habitat. 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 animals at the Detroit Zoo have many choices for how they spend their time. If you do not immediately see an animal, we encourage you to spend a few minutes looking around at the various viewing areas and talking to the Docents who can point out the animals if they are resting somewhere. The Great Apes of Harambee is a 4-acre habitat that is also home to western lowland gorillas. The primates spend their days foraging, grooming and playing, just as they would in their native African environment.
Chimpanzees have long black or brown hair covering their bodies, but have no hair on their faces, ears, hands or feet. They have pink skin at birth but, as they grow, the skin turns black. Chimpanzees have fingernails, toenails and opposable thumbs, just like humans. Their small faces have defined brows, small nostrils and small muzzles.
Chimpanzees share more than 98 percent of the same genetic material with humans, making them our closest living relatives.
Chimpanzees are among few animal species that make and use tools. Examples include using sticks to catch insects and stones to crack open nuts.
Chimpanzees live in large groups called troops.