World Bonobo Day is on February 14. It raises awareness about man’s closest living relatives and ensures their continued existence. Bonobos are playful great apes and are one of nature’s ambassadors of peace. It is fitting that they share a holiday dedicated to love as these creatures are some of the most loving. Unfortunately, these gentle animals are endangered, largely due to human activities. World Bonobo Day spreads awareness about these mammals and educates people about them and the threats they face. Let us take a journey into the forests of knowledge to learn more about them.
History of World Bonobo Day
The great, diurnal bonobo apes were one of the last of their kind to be discovered. They were once considered a subspecies of chimpanzees due to their physical and living similarities, but in 1933 they were acknowledged as their own species. Bonobos are only found in the rainforests along the south of the Congo River, are primarily herbivores but will sometimes dine on insects, and consume bats, flying squirrels, and small antelopes on rare occasions.
Also known as pygmy chimpanzees, bonobos have been listed as an endangered species and, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, are facing the danger of possible extinction shortly. Started by preservationists, the Bonobo Project seeks to conserve bonobos and take measures to increase their population. The Congo War had adverse effects on the apes as it plunged people into abject poverty, making them look for alternative meat sources. Industrial logging also allowed hunters access to the bonobos’ habitat, which was previously only accessible by boat and bush planes.
The shrinking bonobo populations can be attributed to poaching, hunting for their meat, and human activities. Contact with humans has also introduced zoonotic diseases such as Ebola to their population, further reducing their numbers in the wild. Currently, bonobos are protected by organizations like the Bonobo Conservation Initiative, the Friends of Bonobo, and Lola ya Bonobo in collaboration with local communities.
World Bonobo Day timeline
Evolution takes its course, and bonobos separate from the chimpanzee family.
Bonobos are finally recognized as a species rather than a subspecies of chimpanzees.
Lola yo Bonobo, a sanctuary for orphaned bonobos, is founded to reintroduce those confiscated from the black market back into the wild.
A non-profit organization, the Bonobo Project, is founded by conservationists to raise awareness and take action for their conservation.
World Bonobo Day FAQs
What are bonobos known for?
Bonobos are sometimes referred to as “Make love, not war” apes because of their range of famous and creative love-making activities.
Are bonobos humans’ closest living relatives?
Like the chimpanzee, bonobos are considered the closest living relatives to humans and exhibit similar behaviors.
How old do bonobos get?
In the wild, they can live for up to 40 years.
How to Observe World Bonobo Day
Donate to the cause
Bonobos are an endangered species, and funding is critical to the species’ survival. Donating to relevant organizations that protect them is truly an amazing way to celebrate the day and play your part in ensuring the species’ survival.
Compared to other species in the ape family, bonobos are not as known, yet they need to be preserved due to their dwindling population. Therefore, it is important to raise awareness about these creatures and the threats they face.
Educate yourself on bonobos
A great way to mark the day is to learn more about these loving creatures. You can conduct research, watch educational videos about them, and even post your findings on these wonderful creatures on social media.
5 Important Facts About Bonobo Behavior
Female bonobos dominate
Bonobos operate a matriarchal system where the females are in charge, particularly when it comes to governing social groups.
Bonobos can self-medicate
Bonobos are known for self-medicating by combining certain plants to create remedies, and they also eat certain leaves with medicinal properties.
Bonobos have a strong maternal bond
The female bonobo forms an inseparable bond with her young as she is solely responsible for them — young bonobos are strongly attached to their mothers and will often be traumatized if separated from them too early.
They have superior intelligence
Bonobos have superior intelligence and can even make simple tools like umbrellas and beds from leafy branches.
They can make love face-to-face
Previously considered a human peculiarity, bonobos can make love to each other face-to-face and even kiss with their tongues.
Why World Bonobo Day is Important
Bonobos are on the verge of extinction
Statistics show that there are only 10,000 to 20,000 bonobos left in the wild. Their numbers are decreasing rapidly, and if we don’t do something about it soon, the entire species will go extinct.
Bonobos are peaceful animals
Bonobos are a great ape species that never kill their kind in the wild. They are peace-loving and kind creatures. Females look after their own; they take care of and share their food with other females. We should protect this species from extinction for all these reasons and more.
Humans and bonobos share similar D.N.A.
Bonobos are considered one of our closest living relatives, like gorillas. They share an astounding 98.7% of our D.N.A.
World Bonobo Day dates