Animals & Attractions

There are 17 chimpanzees here at Edinburgh Zoo - David, Louis, Lucy, Eva, Sophie, Lianne, Heleen, Qafzeh, Kilimi, Rene, Paul, Frek, Edith, Liberius, Maadili, Velu and Masindi.

Masindi is our youngest chimp and was born on 3 February 2020. Both she and her older brother Velu are particularly special as they are both pure Western chimpanzees, a critically endangered subspecies of the common chimpanzee.

You can help feed and care for our chimps and other threatened animals around the world by donating today - if you can, please support our Survival Fund.

Fun facts!

  • Chimpanzees live in large communities with sometimes over 100 individuals, but they will break off into smaller groups throughout the day to travel and feed
  • Led by an alpha male there is a dominance hierarchy within the troop. Competition for the top spot can be fierce, but these males often rely on allies and coalitions with others and form bonds through social grooming
  • Within a chimp society, cultural traditions are passed down through generations, such as hunting and medicinal plant use
  • They use and modify a wide variety of objects in their environment for tools so our keepers spend much of their day thinking up new and ingenious ways of enriching the troop

How we're helping

Chimps face numerous threats in the wild from habitat destruction, to snares set catch local wildlife. Sadly, chimps are hunted to supply the bushmeat trade, and hunters also kill individuals within a group in order to remove infants and sell them on to the illegal pet trade.

Our chimpanzees are part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP).

We support chimpanzees in the Budongo Forest in Uganda through our work with the Budongo Conservation Field Station (BCFS).

Combining research and conservation to ensure sustainable management and use of the forest reserve, the BCFS team monitors the health of wild chimp populations and also works with local communities helping to dissuade hunters from setting bush meat snares. Ex-hunters are helped to start an alternative source of livelihood that is not dependant on forest resources, and in return voluntarily participate in snare removal exercises alongside the BCFS snare patrol team.

Find out more about our work with the Budongo Conservation Field Station.

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