Bored of your lunchtime walk? Spend it following some Chimpanzees around the city this summer!
Over the years, London has been known to enjoy a good set of animal sculptures across the city. We’ve had lions, we’ve had a trail of all our favourite characters from movies (yes, it included Paddington), and there’s even been a corgi treasure hunt.
Now, it’s time for you all to go ape over the next trail of animals in London, because the Chimpanzees have arrived! Making their mark, and cast in bronze, across London Bridge, you’ll be able to catch their monkey business until October this year. All 28 of them, to be precise.
The free Chimps Are Family trail, created by artists Gillie and Marc runs from London Bridge to Tower Bridge, with each sculpture representing 18 different moods displayed by Chimpanzees including grief, happiness, friendship and conflict; just like those shown by us humans! We do share 98% of our DNA with them, after all.
Londoners can get close up to the chimps to examine their facial expressions, and scan a QR code to find out about the individual Chimp, learn about their conservation, donate funds or even adopt one of the sculptures, with all proceeds going directly to save chimpanzees. With Chimps seeing a decline in population, this trail aims to gather awareness around the issue and encourage people to do what they can to help.
Artists Gillie and Marc Schattner said: “We hope this exhibition will help people see the similarities between us and chimps. Just like humans, they laugh at funny things, get cross with one another, and have fantastic bonds of friendship.
“Despite our connection to them, chimpanzees are becoming endangered, and it is because of our actions. With our cities expanding rapidly, their habitat is being destroyed to make space for housing, agriculture, mines, and roads. Chimps struggle to find enough food, getting them into dangerous situations leading to human-wildlife conflict. They are also targets for hunters looking for bushmeat or babies for the illegal pet trade. And all these interactions with humans have left them sick, catching our diseases, the worst being Ebola. Ebola has killed hundreds and thousands of chimps since the 1980s.
“We hope that once people see how similar we really are, they will want to help protect them.”