An endangered tribe of chimpanzees in Guinea, renowned worldwide for their impressive tool-use skills, have a chance to recover. The last fertile female of the local population gave birth to a cub.
A tiny community of monkeys lives in the forest around the village of Bosu, Guinea. Scientists have traveled to remote areas of this country for decades to study the outstanding use of chimpanzees’ tools. For example, they know how to use a stone hammer and an anvil to crack nuts.
But the number of chimpanzees in Bossu has dropped to a single figure. The tribe is dying out and cannot be replenished by neighboring chimpanzee communities since the destruction of the forest has led to the population’s isolation.
And yet, after years of gradual extinction, there is good news. Ali Gaspar Sumakh, director of the Bosu Environmental Research Institute, told AFP last week that the guides spotted the group’s last fertile female with a tiny cub on her stomach last week.
We were able to confirm the sex of the baby with binoculars. It turned out that this is a female.
Ali Gaspar Sumakh, Director of the Bosu Environmental Research Institute
The villagers were delighted with the news. The Bosu chimpanzee has a unique relationship with the village population. The animals live in the wild but share the territory and its resources with the local people, who protect chimpanzees, considering them to be their ancestors’ reincarnation.
Bosu is part of the Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the border with Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia, overlooking the surrounding savannah.