Chimpanzee Challenge Day 4 – Why are Chimpanzees Important?


Update 04/20/12:  Entries are now closed.  The winners have been notified and have 24 hours to reply before an alternate is selected.  Thank you to everyone who participated!

Welcome to Day 4 of the See Chimpanzee, Save Chimpanzees challenge!  Rated G, Chimpanzee opens in theaters on April 20, 2012, just in time for Earth Day.  And for every moviegoer who sees Chimpanzee during the film’s opening week (April 20-26, 2012), Disneynature will make a donation to the Jane Goodall Institute through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund in order to protect chimpanzees and their habitats, now and into the future.



Chimpanzee Challenge Fact #4:  Scientists have discovered that chimpanzees living in different parts of Africa have distinct customs or cultural traits that are passed along from one generation to the next by learning rather than instinct.


Why are Chimpanzees Important?

Chimpanzees are endangered:
Just 100 years ago, roughly 1 million chimpanzees lived in the lush rainforests of equatorial Africa.  Today, only 1/10 remain, primarily due to  habitat loss and illegal hunting.  Current trends indicate that African ape populations will decline by an additional 80% in the next 30 to 40 years.

Chimpanzees are important for biodiversity:
The variety of life on Earth is critical to the survival of our planet.  A balanced ecosystem depends on a variety of species and all species depend on each other for survival.

Chimpanzees are amazing:
They use simple tools and display distinct cultural differences – characteristics that were once thought to be limited to humans.  They use medicinal plants to treat illness and injuries.  And despite their smaller stature, a full grown chimpanzee is six times stronger than a human!
Chimpanzee with stick
Chimpanzees are a lot like humans:
It’s easy to see why people are fascinated by these highly social and intelligent creatures.  They live in communities.  They feel and express a variety of emotions like sadness, excitement, anger and happiness.  They create close bonds with family and friends… in short, they’re a lot like us!


Why are Chimpanzees in Danger?

Habitat Destruction
Chimpanzee habitat is shrinking quickly.  In Africa, rainforests are logged for timer, mined for minerals and cleared for crops and grazing land.

Commercial Logging
Selling the rainforest for timber and fuel has opened vast areas of remote tropical rainforests to clear cutting.  Loggers often hunt chimpanzees and other forest animals.

Commercial Mining
Mining for coltan (a metal used in cell phones and other electronic devices) and other rare minerals destroys rainforests and streams, threatening both wildlife and indigenous people.

Bushmeat Trade
The indigenous people hunted chimpanzees and other wildlife for centuries, taking only what they needed to survive.  However, increased demand from urban restaurants and international markets has made hunting for bushmeat a large scale commercial trade.  Chimpanzees are now being hunted at an unsustainable rate and many experts believe it is currently the greatest threat to chimpanzees and other rainforest species.

Snare Injuries
Even when chimpanzees are not targeted by hunters, they can be injured or killed by wire snares set for other species.  In some areas, up to 50% of the chimpanzee population suffers from permanent snare injuries.

Pet Trade
While most would-be pet owners have good intentions, chimpanzees do not make good pets.  Chimpanzees raised by humans lack the appropriate social behaviors and communication skills to live with other chimpanzees, making the transition to zoo and wildlife sanctuaries very difficult about the owners realize they don’t have the space, finances or time to properly care for them.


How Can We Help Chimpanzees?

Recycle Electronics
Simple activities like recycling cell phones and other electronics helps to reduce the mining efforts in Africa, protecting chimpanzees and their habitats.

Purchase Sustainable Products
Seek out products that are sustainably grown or made from recycled products.  For example, by choosing paper and wood that is FSC-certified you will ensure that the wood was taken from a certified well-managed forest.

Support the Jane Goodall Institute
Protecting chimpanzees starts with studying them in the wild.  Understanding their behaviors and habitat needs help scientists make more effective conservation decisions.  The Jane Goodall Institute supports chimpanzee research, community conservation and education efforts that protect chimpanzees and their habitats.

See Chimpanzee!
See Chimpanzee opening week (April 20-26, 2012) and Disneynature will make a donation in your honor to the Jane Goodall Institute to protect chimpanzees today and tomorrow.

The above information was provided in the Chimpanzee Educator’s Guide.  The Chimpanzee Educator’s Guide includes 135 beautiful color pages of lessons and activities targeted to grades 2 through 6.  The lessons are aligned to National Science Education Standards and integrate interactive elements.  If you would like to download a copy of this resource please contact us.


Movie Tickets and Prize Pack Giveaway Instructions

How to enter:

Pledge to see Chimpanzee during its opening weekend in support of the Jane Goodall Institute by doing one or more of the following:

  • Post a comment below
  • Post a comment on any EcoBuzz Chimpanzee blog post dated this week (April 16th – April 20th)
  • Like or comment on any EcoBuzz Chimpanzee Facebook post on our Facebook page dated this week (April 16th – April 20th)

and you will automatically be entered to win a pair of movie tickets to see Chimpanzee or a Chimpanzee prize pack.

The more entries we receive, the more pairs of tickets and prize packs we will be able to give away so please share this opportunity with your friends and family to increase your odds!

Be sure to include a valid email address when you submit a comment on our website or have messaging enabled on your Facebook page so that we can contact you if you win. Your email address will not be published and will only be used to contact you if you win. Due to mailing restrictions the giveaway is open to U.S. residents 18 & older only.

Winner selection:

Update 04/20/12:  Entries are now closed.  The winners have been notified and have 24 hours to reply before an alternate is selected.  Thank you to everyone who participated!

Entries will close at 9:00 am Pacific Time/Noon Eastern Time on Friday, April 20, 2012 in time for the winners to use their Fandango movie codes for opening weekend! The winners will be randomly selected from the April 16th – April 20th post comments, Facebook comments and Facebook likes and will be contacted on Friday, April 20, 2012.

Giveaway open to U.S. residents 18 & older only. Contact EcoBuzz if you have any questions!

Chimpanzee Giveaway

Chimpanzee Prize Pack Giveaway


  • Pairs of Fandango Movie Tickets


  • One Oscar Plush
  • One Disneynature Chimpanzee The Making of the Film Book
  • One Reusable Tote Bag





Good luck and remember to see Chimpanzee during opening weekend!

Watch the official trailer & featurette plus learn more about the film here.


  1. Kristen m says:

    I pledge to see Chimpanzee during its opening weekend!
    blue65829 at aol dot com

  2. My kids would love this!

  3. Katherine says:

    I am headed there with my nephew this weekend

  4. Penny Snyder says:

    I pledge to see this opening weekend!

  5. Can’t wait to see it. I enjoyed this article as well.

  6. Paula Tavernie says:

    I pledge to see this opening day!
    ptavernie at yahoo dot com

  7. Charity S says:

    I’m taking my son to see this.

  8. Valerie Taylor Mabrey says:

    I am going to see it !

    vmkids3 at msn dot com

  9. Leslie Luke Stanziani says:

    I pledge to try to take my 4 kids opening week(all depends on the $$$).Thanks!

  10. Pledge to see Chimpanzee during its opening weekend in support of the Jane Goodall Institute

  11. Christine says:

    would love this

  12. Shannon Baas says:

    i pledge to see it.

  13. einbahn146 says:

    The first time I saw the trailer for this film I cried. Any story featuring an orphan touches my heart and I’ve been so impressed with Disney’s previous nature films. I am taking me four-year-old nephew to “meet” Oscar tomorrow (opening) night and can’t wait to share the experience with him…. also, I’m a big fan of “Switchfoot” and loved they they were used in the trailer.

  14. I pledge to see this movie the opening weekend.

  15. brian e. says:

    Thanks for the giveaway…we will be seeing Chimpanzee on opening weekend to support Jane Goodall’s work.

    senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

  16. i pledge to see it opening day!

  17. robyn paris says:

    i pledge to see this movie.

  18. Eileen Burke says:

    I’m pledging to see it opening weekend 🙂

  19. Eileen Burke says:

    I liked your chimpanzee post on facebook 🙂

  20. EMMA L HORTON says:


  21. Shelley Mitchell says:

    Pledge to see Chimpanzee during its opening weekend in support of the Jane Goodall Institute!

    msjem2001 at yahoo dot com

  22. Amy DeLong says:

    I pledge to go see it with the family!

  23. My nephew loves all animal movies and I think he would be over-the-top excited to see this movie!

  24. Heather S says:

    We really want to see this

  25. Michelle Tucker says:

    I will try my very best to see Chimpanzee this opening weekend.
    michedt at yahoo dot com