With a careful bit of monkey business, one group of hominids detached from the primate evolutionary chain and began to evolve at a breakneck pace.

A family of cavemen sit around a fire
Credit: Canva

Nowadays, humans and apes are in entirely different classes, with one considering itself the ultimate form of life on planet Earth, and the other left to either waste away in a zoo, or survive in a world no longer built for them.

Arizona State students want to change that narrative.

Endangered Monkeys

In the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia, lives a group of monkeys. These monkeys, known as Gelada monkeys, have dwindled in numbers in recent years, placing them on the endangered species list.

Two Gelada monkeys hanging out
Credit: Canva

Due to the lack of numbers, Simien Mountain National Park is now the only place to find the rare primates, but even that may come to an end soon. As plastic pollution and litter continue to pile up, the species gets more and more endangered.

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How Arizona State is Helping

This issue may seem inconsequential, but it shows us a future we have to look forward to if we don't clean up our act, and that's exactly what ASU professors and students are doing.

Group of Gelada Monkeys walking in a pack
Credit: Canva

Professor India Schneider-Crease has been studying this problem for almost a decade, and became the co-director of the Simien Mountains Gelada Research Foundation with fellow ASU professor Tyler Eglen.

Together with ASU engineering students, the foundation has headed to Ethiopia to bring new machines that will recycle their discarded plastic, and produce products that can be sold for tourists.

A plastic recycling plant
Credit: Canva

This project is more than just cleaning up an environment, it's about changing a community and giving Mother Earth a second chance.

[AZ Family]

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