Learn About Habitats

This lesson is inspired by Social and Emotional learning (SEL) principles. In this lesson, students will learn what chimpanzees need to thrive and will recognize that each chimpanzee is an individual with unique feelings and needs.

What is a chimpanzee?

  • A chimpanzee is a type of Great Ape.
  • Humans are Great Apes too! So are gorillas and orangutans.
  • Some people think chimps are monkeys, but they’re not. An easy way to tell the difference between a monkey and an ape is that monkeys have tails and apes do not.

What is Chimp Haven?

  • Chimp Haven is a big sanctuary where chimpanzees live together in family groups, also known as troops.
  • Chimp Haven is located in Louisiana.
  • More than 300 chimpanzees live at Chimp Haven today!

What is a habitat?

  • A habitat is a chimp’s home.
  • Chimp habitats are outside with lots of trees and open space.
  • At Chimp Haven, the habitats include fun play structures for the chimps to climb and hang out on.
  • Chimps like to play, climb trees, and find yummy snacks like nuts and berries in their habitat.
  • The habitats at Chimp Haven are surrounded by water, which is called a “moat.” The chimps like to hang out with their friends by the moat and dip their hands in to get a drink of water.
  • Even though the chimps enjoy their moat, they don’t like to swim. Their heavy body composition makes it hard for them to swim, so the moat creates a natural barrier to keep them safe in their habitat.
  • Chimp Haven creates chimp habitats to make residents feel at home!
  • All chimps have individual likes and dislikes; they even have different things that make them feel comfortable! While one chimp may love to climb way up high in the trees another chimp may prefer to hang out on the ground with friends instead.
  • The chimps spend their time within their habitat the way they want to each and every day.
  • Other wildlife like raccoons, bunnies, and birds also live in the habitats.
  • The chimps like to build nests in their habitats. Nests are nice, comfy places where the chimps like to nap or relax. They may make nests out of leaves, branches, blankets, and even toys! In the wild, chimps sometimes make their nests up in the trees.
  • Humans have habitats too. Think about your home; what are three things you like to do in your ‘habitat’?

Learn more about habitats

  • Watch the video below and read the blog post to learn more about how the chimps use their habitats at Chimp Haven.
  • Download the activities to make your own chimp habitat at home!
  • Share your habitat with us on social media @ChimpHaven.

Video: Learn more about chimpanzee habitats.

Click through the photos to see the chimps enjoying their habitats at Chimp Haven.

Activity Sheet #1: Draw a habitat for Kaya. Don’t forget to share it with us @ChimpHaven!

Activity Sheet #2: Create a habitat shadowbox. Don’t forget to share it with us @ChimpHaven!

Activity Sheet #3: After reading about Hobbes and friends exploring their new home, complete this worksheet to think about how new experiences might make the chimps feel

Click the image of Kaya to see what happened when her group entered a habitat for the very first time!