ANIMAL PLANET EXPLORES THE STRIKING SIMILARITIES OF PEOPLE AND PRIMATES IN THE NATURAL HISTORY SPECIAL "THE REAL APES OF THE PLANET"
-- The Two-Hour Special Premiering Tuesday October 21 Looks at the Striking Similarities Between Primate and Human Behavior --
(September 30, 2014) - The large human brain gives us the evolutionary edge over other species, but studies show that almost everything we have learned has been handed down from our primal ancestors. In THE REAL APES OF THE PLANET, Animal Planet travels around the globe for an unprecedented look at some of the various 400 specimens that make up the primate family and the surprising way our behavior mirrors theirs. The new two-hour documentary THE REAL APES OF THE PLANET airs on Tuesday, October 21, at 8:00 P.M. ET/PT. The special will air on Discovery Channel and Science Channel at a later date.
THE REAL APES OF THE PLANET explores the surprising and mind-blowing similarities that humans share with our fascinating primate cousins. Passing on family traditions and grooming practices as well as ingenious survival tactics and the primates' ability to solve complex problems and form communities with a hierarchy system, the special highlights devoted parenting to fun-loving kids. Viewers also witness how, akin to humans, apes may demonstrate deceitful behavior to get what they want, overindulge in life's pleasures and not always get along.
With their highly intelligent minds, chimpanzees in Uganda demonstrate their problem- solving skills and tool use when posed with a honey challenge. The long-tailed macaques in Thailand find a clever way to floss after a meal, and an orangutan in Borneo maintains her personal hygiene with a little soap and water. In Iowa, a male bonobo named Kanzi picks his own food for a picnic; he uses lexigram and toasts marshmallows in a fire he makes himself while the white-faced capuchins in the rain forest of Costa Rica uncover the secret that the sap of the Guyabano tree acts as a mosquito repellent if rubbed on their fur. THE REAL APES OF THE PLANET uncovers how these animals are individuals with their own personalities and why brainpower is essential to primate survival.
"The world of primates is so vast and full of interesting species. Sadly, worldwide, many of them are threatened due to habitat destruction, the illegal commercial bushmeat trade and disease," says Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace. "It is so important that every individual understands the role they can play in eliminating these issues and creating a hopeful future for primates and for all species who share one home: Mother Earth."
Without the work of organizations such as the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), these fascinating creatures could be gone forever. JGI works across the Congo Basin to protect and restore chimpanzees and the habitats they need to survive. Among JGI's efforts, the staff at the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo, home to more than 150 chimpanzees, is currently working to relocate many of the chimpanzees to three pristine islands in the middle of the Kouilou River as a sanctuary expansion, giving them more room to thrive and live in the forest. To learn more about Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute, please visit janegoodall.org.