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Our closest relatives have the compassion to adopt orphans, but do we have it in us to save them?

While humans now know from research that chimpanzees are wide-ranging, social animals with diverse physical, social, behavioral and psychological needs, the tragedy is we continue to be the greatest danger to their survival.

ANIMALS ASIA:Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, yet while they care for the defenseless, human activities are pushing them to extinction. Modern humans share more than 98% of their genome with chimpanzees, but our similarities go much further than genetics. Just like us, chimps live in complex societies and observational studies have shown that individuals need to learn cultural social skills in order to fit in to the collective. This cultural and social learning comes mostly from their mother. Infants and juveniles benefit from the close relationship with their mother in terms of food, warmth, protection, and the opportunity to learn skills. They are in constant contact for the first 30 days of life, with newborns helpless to survive without maternal support…

While humans now know from research that chimpanzees are wide-ranging, social animals with diverse physical, social, behavioral and psychological needs, the tragedy is we continue to be the greatest danger to their survival. Throughout the world, chimpanzees endure poor living conditions in captivity. They are often socially isolated in substandard zoos and private collections while many hundreds are exploited in circuses and the tourism industry. These unfortunate individuals find themselves forced through fear and punishment to perform meaningless tricks or have their photograph taken with tourists.

In the wild, the situation is little better. Chimpanzees are listed as “endangered” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List with habitat loss and hunting the primary drivers of high mortality. Live infants are also prized for the pet and entertainment industries. With chimpanzees having proven their capacity for compassion towards those in need, perhaps it is time for us humans to do likewise. Rejecting all entertainment such as circuses and movies where chimps or other primates are exploited would be a good start’. SOURCE…

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