Pygmy chimpanzees are known as smart, outgoing, and willing to please creatures. But much of humankind may never admit that these animals could be as intelligent as we are.
Pygmy chimpanzees live in the rainforests of Zaire, Africa. They weigh 80-100 pounds, about 10 pounds less than other chimpanzees. These extraordinary creatures, as well as other chimpanzees, are at risk from being hunted for food, sport, and medical research. Most chimp trade is illegal, but some people still do it. In fact, Europe, Japan, and the United States are the main purchasers of captive chimps.
Because humans and chimpanzees have many similar genes, most scientists suggest that we are related. Chimps can use tools in the wild, and they are even learning to say words. They can also paint objects and unlock doors. Yet, some still say they are not as smart as us.
How smart would an average human be if he or she got dropped off in the middle of a jungle? Would a human in this situation know what was and wasn't poisonous? Would he or she know how to stay alive? The answer is probably not. So, is it fair to judge chimps by what they can do in the modern world, a world humans invented?
Chimpanzees may be a lot different than we are and have different talents, but that might not mean they are less intelligent. Additional time and research will likely provide more insight into this controversial topic.
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