Meet "Tarzan", a whiite-faced male chimpanzee.
As an adult chimp, Tarzan weighs about 170 pounds and has the strength of about six adult men.
Tarzan is a retired performer that made his home at Black Pine in the spring of 1996. Though raised in captivity by humans, Tarzan is too dangerous to continue living in someone's home. He could live 50 to 60 years of age.
Chimpanzees, native to Africa, are an endangered species. It is still common for humans to poach chimps sometimes as a source of meat, and other times babies are taken from the wild and sold as pets. Even others die from human diseases carried into the forests. By the age of six or seven years, these sweet-faced apes become very strong and intimidating.
There aren't many things we do that chimps can't or won't, but one is swimming. Chimps are fearful of water because their bodies have virtually no fat which means they can't float. They inherently know they would sink like a rock, so water is not a playground for them!
Keeping primates in captivity poses a constant challenge for keepers to ensure they are stimulated by their environment, sights, sounds, and more, and are therefore "fulfilled". Imagine living behind bars in captivity, and you are imagining reality for chimps and other primates in captivity. Entertainment is crucial to emotional health!
Tarzan enjoys an occasional treats such as ice pops and sodas, but food is not his primary motivation. Tarzan thrives on peering into the eyes of his human friends. He is playful, but also can be quite stubborn!
InfoBox - Chimpanzee
Status: Endangered due to poaching and habitat loss.
Diet in wild: Mostly fruit and other plant material, but also some small animals.
Life Span in wild: 30 to 40 years.
Weight: Males average 198 pounds; females average 176 pounds.
Native habitat: Zaire and other East African countries.