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WildFilmHistory » Home » Films » Pygmy Chimpanzee: The Last Great Ape

Pygmy Chimpanzee: The Last Great Ape  (1997)

Our nearest living relative

The first ever film to be devoted entirely to these highly intelligent primates, Pygmy Chimpanzee: The Last Great Ape is an intriguing exploration of the bonobo's society, behaviour and day-to-day life. Impressive photography details the incredible variety of social expressions, incessant chatter and the tolerant, relaxed group dynamics of man's closest living relative.

Focusing on an orphaned male, Shijimi, David Attenborough provides an intriguing glimpse into the bonobo's social psychology. In most animal groups he would not have survived without a foster mother, however heartwarming footage sees him befriending the older males, gaining acceptance by grooming them.

Shown as part of the BBC's Wildlife On One strand, this award-winning half hour film brings to life the importance of sex in the chimps' every day life, examining its use as a 'social cement'.

Discussing the threats they face in their restricted habitat, Attenborough provides a fascinating insight into these vulnerable primates, struggling to survive in the rainforests of war-torn Zaire.

Copyright holder

Copyright Holder: BBC - Natural History Unit
Address: c/o BBC Motion Gallery
Room E251
80 Wood Lane
W12 0TT
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8433 2861 / 2

Film credits

Director: Martyn Colbeck
Dubbing Editor: Lucy Rutherford
Dubbing Mixer: Peter Hicks
Film Editor: Tim Coope
Music: Henry Priestman
Narrator: David Attenborough
Photography: Martyn Colbeck
Producer: Karen Bass
Production Co-ordinator: Louise Heren
Production Co-ordinator: Gaynor Scattergood
Production Organisation: BBC - Natural History Unit
Series Producer: Keith Scholey
Sound: John Watkin
Unit Manager: Nicky Spode
Unit Manager: Felicity Mudge
Writer: Pelham Aldrich-Blake
Bonobo society
Bonobo society
Our nearest living relative
Our nearest living relative
Unruly children at play
Unruly children at play
Importance of a mother
Importance of a mother