There are four subpopulations of the chimpanzee — the western chimp, the Nigeria-Cameroon chimp, the central chimp, and the eastern chimp. This great ape is one of our closest relatives, sharing about 98 percent of their genes with us. They have thickset bodies with short legs, opposable thumbs, no tails, and long arms that are 1.5 times their height that extends beyond their knees. Much of their body is covered with long black hair, but the face, ears, fingers, and toes are bare.
After descending from their night nests in the trees, they hungrily feed on fruits, their principal diet, and on leaves, buds, and blossoms. After a while, their feeding becomes more selective, and they will choose the ripest fruit. They usually pick fruit with their hands, but they eat berries and seeds directly off the stem with their lips. Their diet consists of up to 80 different plant foods, and they will spend anywhere from six to eight hours per day foraging for food. Sometimes, they will supplement their diets with meat, such as young antelopes or goats. Their most frequent victims, however, are other primates, such as young baboons, colobus monkeys, and blue monkeys.
Chimpanzees face different threats depending on where they occur in Uganda. In the National Parks and Central Forest Reserves the main threat comes from accidental snaring in wire snares that have been set for ungulates. Snares such as these can maim or kill individuals.Estimates in Budongo Forest and Kibale NP show that about 20% of all individuals have been maimed in some way from snares. Chimpanzees at the edge of Protected Areas can be targeted because of crop raiding activities. Many have been speared or caught in leg-hold traps that are set to deter them. Where chimpanzees occur outside protected areas they are vulnerable from habitat loss to agriculture as human populations expand. Disease is also a potential threat with studies in Kibale NP showing that the gut parasites of chimpanzees are very similar to those found in the people living near National Parks or interacting with them as tour guides or researchers.