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Today is Monkey Day. It’s an unofficial holiday to celebrate monkeys and all things Simian, including other non-human primates such as apes, tarsiers and lemurs. Today is about creating awareness about these species and their ongoing modern-day threats.

 

One can distinguish monkeys from apes with these traits. Apes are considered more intelligent than monkeys. Apes use tools and display a higher language ability.

 Photo credit: Francesco Ungaro from Pexels

Great Apes include Chimpanzees, Orangutans, Bonobos, Eastern and Western gorillas and are found in Africa and Asia. They are found in jungles, mountainous areas, and savannas. Orangutans are the only apes found in Sumatra (Indonesia) and the Island of Borneo (Indonesia and Malaysia).  They are known for their high-level Intelligence, large body size and larger brain to body size ratio. 

 

Some cool facts about apes

  • Size: Gorillas are the largest apes. A full-grown adult measures 4.5 to 5.5 feet when upright standing and weighs 200 to 450 lbs.
  • Habits: A group of apes is called a tribe. They are social creatures and live in groups. Chimpanzees are most social, living in groups of 15 to 120 members. During the day, they play, protect and eat while at night they sleep.
  • Diet: Apes are herbivores feeding on leaves, fruits, flowers, but they are also known to feed on insects to supplement their diet.
  • Offspring: They give birth to the young ones after a gestation period of eight and half months to nine months. They give birth to one or two babies at a time and breastfeed for an extended period.
  •  Photo credit: Ludwig Kwan from Pexels

    The Great Apes are endangered species and are also on the IUCN Red list. WWF has 10 clusters of priority species, namely big cats, bears, cetaceans, elephants, great apes, rhinos, marine turtles, sharks and rays, vultures and sturgeons. These species are significant ecologically, economically, and/ culturally for our planet.

     

    We need to protect the great apes because they play a key role in the ecosystem; they are seed spreaders, enabling the growth of new trees. Additionally, their ecosystem depends on these trees. These species contribute to the economic development of a region or country through sustainable and eco-friendly tourism. 

     Photo credit: Francesco Ungaro from Pexels

    Unfortunately, these fantastic and lovely species are losing their habitat quickly due to competition for resources, illegal trade and captivity, palm oil production and consumption, climate change and human activities like agriculture, mining and commercial logging.

     

    Here are a few ways that you can help save the great apes: 

    I. Visit Ethical Conservation projects/organisations - the finances received through great apes tourism are used to conserve these remarkable animals. Additionally, It creates jobs and other benefits to the local communities.

    II. Buy sustainable wood; this encourages sustainable forestry and eliminates illegal logging. 

    III. Donate to organisations that protect these species. A small contribution goes a long way in supporting and protecting the apes. Please donate as much as you can!

    IV. Spread the word and engage in dialogue on why the apes are essential to our existence and why we need to protect them.   

     Photo credit: Jonathan Lajoie from Pexels 

    Do check out our She Loves Blooms Brooches, inspired by South-East Asian Endangered Monkey species and Great Apes. 

     Orangutan Brooch

    (Image: Raja the Tapanuli Orangutan Brooch by She Loves Blooms)

    (Image: Raffles with Kopi brooch by She Loves Blooms)

    December 14, 2021 3 min read


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