The Norman Transcript

Homepage

May 4, 2014

Tourism may save chimps

NORMAN — TAI NATIONAL PARK, Ivory Coast — Before dawn in the thick rainforest of western Ivory Coast, the air was filled with the sounds of male chimpanzees screaming, hooting and banging on trees.

A baby chimpanzee named Dali slowly stretched out his brown, furry arms and clumsily scrambled from a branch 20 meters (65 feet) high for a breakfast of nuts and insects provided by game rangers. In the next few minutes he would be joined by 15 others who soon clambered off into the depths of Tai National Park.

Chimpanzees normally resent humans, but scientists in the park have spent decades “habituating” them so they could be studied.

Now, conservationists and the Ivorian government hope to take advantage of the fact that chimps in Tai park are relatively comfortable around humans by launching eco-tourism projects designed to stem the chimpanzee population’s precipitous decline.

“Through ecotourism, local people gain something. They see the value of the forest ... and they will preserve it,” said Christophe Boesch, director of West Africa’s Wild Chimpanzee Foundation who has spent 35 years studying Ivory Coast’s chimps.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
New and Developing

Headlines
Sports
Opinion

Features

Must Read

Editorials

Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Business
Photos


Facebook