Chimps are beguilingly attractive, when they are infants and raising one seems much akin to raising a human child. They look warm, needy, and are a pleasure to interact with. But the superlatives end here because chimps grow very fast and are bestowed with their unique intelligence which makes it impossible to keep them quiet and satisfied in a human environment. By the time they are 5, they are stronger and bigger than an average human adult. Pet owners have horrifying tales of how they lost their fingers and suffered facial injuries when their chimps have gone berserk.
Chimp Mom is one of the best moms around and pets her child for almost 24 hours. Chimp’s mother sleeps with one hand on their child. This form of maternal care can never be reached by any human. There are a whole lot of problems which need to be addressed like constant messes, demanding feeding schedule and the natural need chimpanzees have for mental stimulation. Chimps live for 50 to 60 years.
Often Chimp owners cannot find good caretakers for their pets. Chimps can also rebel in the most violent ways when their owners come home late from work or do not follow a regular schedule. Chimps also require large space and space is always a premium in large cities. Infant chimps can be diapered but once they become adults, it is extremely difficult. A 4 year old chimpanzee is strong enough to move tables, pull down curtains and climb to anything put out of reach. It is impossible to train chimps to behave totally like humans.
Aggression is a natural trait in all chimpanzees and it is too dangerous to keep them as part of the family. A study published Tuesday in the open-access journal PeerJ, has recently revealed that Chimps who have been reared primarily around humans, with no exposure to fellow chimps, often have trouble getting on with their peers later in their life. One particular aspect was they didn’t groom as often, an all-important social activity for chimps, and they tended to have less sex.
Steve Ross, lead author of the study and director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at Lincoln Park Zoo, in a news release said, “Chimpanzees are incredibly intelligent and sensitive animals. Denying them access to members of their own species, during the critical infanthood period, results in behavioral outcomes that last a lifetime.”
One day the chimp will have to go and it becomes an emotional trauma for pet owners to give away their pets they have lovingly reared. These chimps cannot be sent to their natural habitat. Zoos also do not accept ex-pets because human-reared chimpanzees do not know chimp etiquette and tend not to fit into established groups. Many Chimps end up as guinea pigs for medical research.