It is estimated there are less than 10,000 bonobos remaining in the wild. These endangered apes all live in the humid forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The last great ape to be discovered, the bonobo is an endangered species that may soon vanish from the forests of Africa if current or future conservation efforts fail.
The bonobo is endangered due to habitat loss and hunting for bushmeat. Bushmeat is the term commonly used for meat of wild land animals, killed for subsistence or commercial purposes throughout the humid tropics of the Americas, Asia and Africa. Killing bonobos for bushmeat has significanly increased significantly due to the current civil war taking place in the DRC.
The bonobo is one of the two species of chimpanzee, the other species is the Common Chimpanzee. It was discovered in 1928, by American anatomist Harold Coolidge.
Of all the apes, the bonobos are the most closely related to humans.They are capable of passing the mirror-recognition test for self-awareness and they communicate through primarily vocal means. But they also use hand gestures to communicate as well.
Two bonobos have been taught a vocabulary of about 400 words, which they can type using a special keyboard. Using this keyboard, they can also respond to spoken questions.
In the wild, Bonobos live in groups of up to 100. During the day, they break up into groups to forage for food which includes fruits, nuts, seeds, sprouts, vegetation, and mushrooms. And they also eat various parts of plants, including the leaves, flowers, bark, stems, pith, and roots, and also small mammals, insect larvae, earthworms, honey, eggs, and soil.
To help the bonobo survive, the US government allocated $54,000,000 to the Congo Basin Forest Partnership in 2003. Hopefully this will help the bonobo’s chance of survival.