A baby bonobo was born at the Memphis Zoo on May 12 to parents Kiri and Mofana. The sex of the baby is still not known, but zoo staff will determine the gender in the coming weeks.
According to Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs, “This is a species that needs a lot of help, so every birth is significant. Bonobos are still very rare in the wild and in captivity. They are a high conservation priority, and Mo and Kiri are a good genetic match.”
In the wild, bonobos inhabit the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Currently, the IUCN has categorized bonobos as endangered. Civil war in the Congo has hugely impacted bonobo society, fragmenting their population to isolated pockets and limiting their genetic diversity.
To learn more about bonobos, see our bonobo facts article.