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Bonobo Baby Born at Jacksonville Zoo

The Jacksonville Zoo is a-buzz about its new baby bonobo.  Born on November sixth to 24-year-old mother Kuni, the female infant couldn't be in better hands. “The mother has wonderful maternal 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.”

Motherandbabybonobo-photocredittoMarianBrickner

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photos credit: Marian Brickner / Jacksonville Zoo

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.”

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