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Columbus Zoo Celebrates Arrival of Baby Bonobo

First Posted: Sep 18, 2014 01:57 AM EDT

The Columbus Zoo welcomes its latest addition- a baby bonobo - born early this month.

In a latest announcement, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium officials revealed that the baby bonobo was the 14th bonobo born at the zoo since 1990 - when it received its first set of bonobos. This was done in collaboration with the Species Survival Plan (SSP).

"Recognizing the desperate situation bonobos face in the wild, the Columbus Zoo also supports the Congolese association ABC - Les Amis des Bonobos du Congo (Friends of Bonobos in Congo). ABC operates Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary, which has advocated for wildlife conservation in Kinshasa for the past 10 years. ABC's mission is to contribute to the protection of bonobos in their natural environment through educational programs, advocacy work and the facilitation of behavioral research," according to press release.

The unnamed and unsexed baby born Sunday is the fourth baby born to mother 'Ana Neema'. According to the zoo staff, she is offering good care to the newborn, in company of other bonobos. 

Bonobos, the endangered apes, are known to thrive in dynamic groups and it is only after genetic paternity test, that the baby's sire is known. Currently, there are seven facilities in North America that look after bonobos and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to 16 bonobos.

Bonobos and humans share more than 98 percent of similar DNA. Bonobos and chimps are more closely genetically related to humans than they are to gorillas. They mostly feed on fruits and supplement it with leaves and meat. They are sexually active and do not form permanent monogamous sexual relationships with individual partners. A single bonobo is born after a gestation period of 8 ½ months. Their population faces a great threat from habitat destruction and hunting.

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