By Jaqueline B. Ramos*
Today is World Bonobo Day and also Valentine’s Day (Valentine’s Day) in many countries. The date could not be more appropriate to celebrate this species of great ape whose trademark is its behavior, in general, more sweet and peaceful.
Bonobos are the “less famous” great ape. Also known as pygmy chimpanzee, due to a smaller size, are “close cousins” of chimpanzees – both species are part of the genus Pan.
Like chimps, sadly they are endangered. Bonobos are listed as ENDANGERED, according to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list. This means that their population has been decreasing due to the destruction of the forests on the south of the Congo River, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, their only habitat. The status is: ALERT!
Friends of Bonobos organization is one of the main references for the rescue, care and reintroduction of these animals in nature, as well as awareness raising work with local communities. It is worth researching to know more: https://www.bonobos.org – @lolayabonobo
Other way to know more about bonobos is through the Ape Initiative project, whose main star is male bonobo Kanzi.
Kanzi is a superstar, regarded as the first great ape to demonstrate an understanding of spoken English. He comprehends novel sentences and combines lexigram symbols to describe new objects and foods.
Are there any doubts about the cognitive skills and intelligence of these animals?
Check out a few curiosities about bonobos (Source: Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary)
1 – They are our closest living relatives.
2 – Females are in charge.
3 – They’re peaceful.
4 – They are masters at conflict avoidance.
5 – They are truly good Samaritans.
6 – They use social sexual contact to diffuse tension (known as “bonobo handshake”).
*Journalist and independent writer at Ambiente-se Comunicação – https://www.ambientesecom.net – and Communications Manager at GAP Project Brazil / International – https://www.projetogap.org.br. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, currently living in Nagoya, Japan.