It is no secret that human’s and chimpanzee’s are very similar beings. In fact, new genetic studies are revealing that we are more similar than anyone ever suspected, sharing as much as 96 percent of the same DNA. With researchers like Jane Goodall who have paved the way for our understanding of these animals, we are only beginning to understand what our genetic connection to these animals really means. Every opportunity to study chimpanzees teaches us more about ourselves and the nature of human behavior. But anyone who has ever observed a chimpanzee knows that the similarities are readily evident – even without the complicated science.
This baby chimp is pouting, just like a human toddler! What momma could resist that face?
With so many similarities between us, it is a wonder that we are not kinder to our primate cousins. Yet chimpanzee’s face the same fate as so many other animals worldwide; they are the subjects of cruel experimentation, threatened by deforestation and exploited as exotic pets. But the good news is, the tide is beginning to turn. In the U.S., chimpanzees have been granted protection under the Endangered Species Act, meaning anyone who wants to use them for experiments or other purposes will first have to prove that their actions will further the conservation of the species. With more and more countries recognizing the respect that these animals deserve, many chimps are now having their rights recognized and experimentation on chimpanzee’s is gradually being phased out. With all this positive action, this little fella certainly has a reason to smile – but hey, if he’s anything like a human toddler, he’s gonna hold out for the ultimate prize, a total end to all chimp captivity.