Chimpanzee Family Groups

Like humans, chimpanzees are very social creatures. In the wild, they live in mixed-sex troops of 20-100 chimpanzees. At Chimp Haven, the chimps are given the same opportunity to live in large, dynamic family groups. Troop sizes at Chimp Haven typically range from 5 – 20 chimpanzees with an average group size of 11 chimps.

Chimp Haven has conducted hundreds of successful chimpanzee introductions, and, with a wide variety of family groups and living spaces, we’re able to find the perfect family for every chimp. Below are just a few examples of the unique family groups that allow every chimp to thrive at Chimp Haven:

The Golden Oldies are a group of mostly wild-born chimps who love to spend lots of time in the trees and patrolling their habitat.

Henry, the sanctuary’s only former pet, found his perfect family in Donovan’s group of “oddballs.”

The Bachelor Boys had never lived with females before coming to the sanctuary; now they’re thriving in Pierre’s mixed-sex group of 14 chimps.

Social structures for chimpanzees are fission-fusion, which means members may split into smaller groups throughout the day, but then may come back together in the evening for a meal, or just to spend time together. Chimpanzees are also territorial, and like they would in the wild, the residents at Chimp Haven patrol the boundaries of their territories each day looking for possible intruders. Many of the groups at Chimp Haven relish in their daily patrols, like Alpha’s group, seen below:

Sophie and Muffin (Alpha’s family group) on patrol

Alpha’s family group patrols their habitat together every day

Click to watch Alpha’s family group patrol their forested habitat at Chimp Haven

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