In this wonderful piece by Anderson Cooper, we visit Susan Savage-Rumbaugh and bonobos Kanzi and Panbanisha at the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa. The video reveals the very developed communication skills of bonobos.
A female baby bonobo was born November 6 to Kuni of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Delfi Messinger, the Director of Animal Programs, said of the 24-year-old mother, “She seems so proud, and shows her baby to the ‘aunties’ in the group, as well as to her human caretakers.”
In the wild, bonobos live in the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sharing 98.5% of the same DNA as humans, they embody a profound intelligence and a deep emotional capacity. To learn more about bonobos, see Animal Fact Guide’s article: Bonobo.
Bili, a baby bonobo, was born at the Twycross Zoo in England. But when his mother rejected him, zookeepers hand-reared the young ape until he was ready to join a new foster mother and another group of bonobos at the Frankfurt Zoo in Germany.
Although Bili had official animal export documents, he was also given a pretend passport and his own seat on his Lufthansa flight to Germany.
Here is a video of a fascinating talk given by Susan Savage-Rumbaugh in 2004 about bonobos. Studies showed that bonobos display many similarities to early man in their ability to walk bipedally and make/use stone tools. The video also demonstrates bonobos’ great capacity to learn human culture simply by watching the behavior of the scientists around them, including playing musical instruments, writing, making fires, and driving.