Baby Bonobo at the Memphis Zoo

Baby bonobo and mother

Mpingo’s mother Lily holds him close at the Memphis Zoo’s bonobo exhibit. Photo by Laura Horn. Courtesy of Memphis Zoo.

The Memphis Zoo welcomed a male baby bonobo on April 28.  The newborn’s name is Mpingo (EM-pingo), which is a type of African tree.  The wood from mpingo trees are used to make musical instruments, and so mpingos are sometimes referred to as “trees that make music”.

According to Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs, “This is a very significant birth. He definitely lives up to his name. He certainly brings harmony and joy to the group.”

Mpingo and his mother Lily are doing well. They are both on exhibit with other members of the bonobo troop.  Other females in the group will help raise Mpingo, just like what occurs in the wild.

To learn more about Mpingo, visit the Memphis Zoo website. To learn more about bonobos, who are endangered, visit Animal Fact Guide’s bonobo facts page.

Bonobo Baby Face!

Memphis Zoo keeper Sandi Shoemaker captured this moment with Mobali, a three-month-old baby bonobo.

Bonobo baby up close

Closeup of baby Mobali, a bonobo at the Memphis Zoo. Photo by Sandi Shoemaker / Memphis Zoo.

Learn more about Mobali’s birth on our blog. You can also learn more about bonobos at our bonobo facts article.