Posts tagged ‘bonobo’
Kuni and Baby Bonobo – photo credit to Marian Brickner
November 12, 2009 – Jacksonville, Florida — Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens announced its fourth bonobo born at the Zoo—the first in five and one-half years. The female infant was born on the 6th of November to Kuni, a 24 –year-old female bonobo who came to the Jacksonville Zoo from the San Diego Zoo in 2003. The sire of the baby is unknown, but could be either Akili or Mabruki, resident males that are both recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP) to breed with Kuni. DNA tests will be done when the infant is older to determine paternity.
Kuni, born at the Wilhelma Zoo in Germany on February 24, 1985, is important to the Bonobo SSP population because she is unrelated to all other U.S. bonobos, except her daughter Johari. Johari is non-reproductive, making Kuni and this new infant that much more valuable to the population for increasing genetic diversity. Both Kuni and her infant will be monitored closely to make sure that they are healthy.
“The mother has wonderful paternal skills,” said the Zoo’s Director of Animal Programs, Delfi Messinger. “She seems so proud, and shows her baby to the ‘aunties’ in the group, as well as to her human caretakers. The pair will be on exhibit intermittently beginning this weekend depending on social grouping and the weather.”
A group of 17 orphaned bonobos are being released into the wild for the first time this month. Set free by the world’s only bonobo sanctuary, Lola ya Bonobo in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the bonobos will be released into a 50,000 acre (20,000 hectare) forest where the species has been absent for years.
The bonobos will be closely monitored for health and social problems as well as ecology. This is the first ever release of captive bonobos into the wild and we hope everything goes smoothly! Bonobos are not as well known as their ape cousins, chimpanzees. While similar in some respects, they have been shown to have different social dynamics and ecology. The release of these bonobos will help with scientific research which is lacking.
If you would like to help: http://www.friendsofbonobos.org/