A baby Bonobo born August 6 at the Jacksonville Zoo is an important addition to the Species Survival Plan for these endangered Apes.
Closely related to Chimpanzees, Bonobos are more petite and have black facial skin at birth (Chimpanzees have pink facial skin at birth).
Bonobos are highly social and the arrival of an infant is an important event for the group. The male baby, named Budir, will be carried by his mother Kuni for several months. In zoos and in the wild, Bonobos remain with their mothers for about five years.
Like all Great Apes, Bonobos are highly intelligent and are capable of self-recognition in a mirror. Along with Chimpanzees, they are humans' closest relatives in the animal kingdom.
Native to the deep forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bonobos live in groups of up to 100 individuals and feed on fruit, leaves, honey, and eggs.
As one of only seven zoos in the country to house Bonobos, the Jacksonville Zoo participates in the Bonobo Species Survival Plan to preserve genetic diversity in the zoo-managed population.
Wild Bonobos are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to habitat loss and encroaching human activity. The Jacksonville Zoo supports the Bonobo and Congo Biodiversity Initiative, which works to protect Bonobos in the rainforests of central Africa.