Meet Our Chimpanzees

Chimpanzees are part of the most numerous animal group at any of our parks – primates. Why do we have so many? Because, humans are primates.  As soon as our gates open every morning, our primate population rises.


You can identify primates by their use of facial expressions, vocalizations, body language, grooming, and even kisses and pats to communicate with members of their group.


You can identify chimpanzees that way, too. Stop by and see them at Myombe Reserve® when you visit Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay.



Chimpanzee Facts

Chimps are some of the most fascinating animals to watch, because they’re very good watchers themselves. Young chimps learn to create tools from objects in their environment by watching others; they use sticks to get at termites at snack time and wash them down by crumpling leaves and using them to soak up water.

Here are some other interesting facts about chimpanzees:


  • Chimps also understand the idea of strength in numbers. They live in communities of 15 to 60 individual chimpanzees. And those communities stick together.
  • Each community has a dominant male that leads the other adult males in conflicts against predators or trespassing chimp groups.
  • Female chimps and their offspring form close bonds that can last a lifetime.
  • When searching for food the male will drum on trees to let other group members know the direction to travel.


Here’s another fun fact: by following chimps in the wild, scientists have discovered that they use medicinal plants to treat themselves for illness and injury. An anti-tumor agent has actually been found in one of those plants.




There are only four subspecies of chimpanzee left in the wild today. Habitat loss, poaching, and the bush meat trade are the main causes behind chimp deaths.

Busch Gardens® is committed to helping chimps turn that situation around, and that’s why we’re proud of our long-standing relationship with the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center at Emory University – home to some of the world’s most respected primate research programs.

We’ve partnered with the Yerkes Center on several primate conservation research programs including the Tana River Primate Research Center in Southeast Kenya and in-park behavioral research carried out by Frans de Waal, Ph.D. and his staff at the Yerkes Center.



Q: What do chimpanzees eat in the wild?

BG: Pretty much anything: fruits, seeds, vegetation, insects and meat. They’re not picky eaters and they spend nearly half of their day doing it.


Q: Where are chimpanzees found?

BG: Twenty-one countries in Equatorial Africa can claim chimpanzees as native. Most commonly, chimps are found in rainforests, but they turn up in other types of forest, too, such as secondary regrowth forests, bamboo forests and swamp forests.


Q: How big do chimpanzees get?

BG: Newborn chimps weigh in at 3 to 4 pounds. When they grow up, males are about 4 feet tall, weighing in at 130-160 pounds. Females are about 3.5 feet tall, and usually weigh 100-130 pounds.


Teacher's Corner

Teacher’s Corner

Whether you’re leading a classroom or home schooling, you’ll find a comprehensive resource for over 350 animals on our education site, Be sure to check out our chimpanzee quick facts.

Also, be sure to check out our Emmy Award winning DVD series Saving a Species, which includes a series focused on the Great Apes. During this episode, students can trek along with a troop of mountain gorillas, watch as we prepared for a baby orangutan to join our Busch Gardens® family, and learn about conservation efforts to help primates across the planet.

Busch Gardens educational programs and adventure camps are wonderful ways to immerse school groups, scouts, church groups or your own young animal lovers into the world of wildlife. 


Make a Connection

Our primate cousins are some of the most fascinating animals at our park. At the Myombe Reserve®, you’ll get a chance to spend some time in the company of two great apes, chimpanzees and gorillas.

These two intelligent species share something else in common – both are endangered. And that means they need our help.

If you share our passion for wildlife and wild places, learn about some of the primate conservation programs supported by the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, our non-profit 501(C)(3) organization, where 100% of donations go directly to work for wildlife and the places they call home.