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The Great Apes

The Great Apes

The great apes belong to the taxonomic family Homindae, which includes chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, gorillas and humans. This group includes our closest wild relatives. In fact, all members of this family share possibly more than 97% of their DNA. The great apes have all been documented using tools, and communicating with amazing complexity. The great apes are found primarily in Central Africa with the exception of orangutans, which are native to the islands of Borneo and Sumatra in Asia. All of the great apes face serious threats and are all endangered, some critically endangered. Habitat loss, climate change, infectious disease and illegal hunting for both meat and the live pet trade have combined to push these species to the brink of extinction. If we don’t act soon, we will lose our closest relatives forever.