At the Detroit Zoo
The Great Apes of Harambee – located in the African Forest – is home to 11 chimpanzees, including the newest addition, Jane, born in July 2018. Jane is the second baby born to mother, Abby, and the fourth in 10 years to father, Imara. Abby also gave birth to daughter Chiana at the Detroit Zoo in 1994. The baby arrived in the early hours of the first World Chimpanzee Day, 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. Jane joins youngsters Zuhura, a female born in August 2013, female Akira, born in July 2011 and their high-energy brother Ajua, born in September 2008. Imara is the dominant male and father to all four young chimpanzees. Trixi is the dominant female in the habitat. She is mother to twins Tanya and Nyani. Tanya seems to enjoy playing with the other young chimps while carrying Akira on her back. 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 also houses 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.
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.