Cincinnati Zoo Welcomes Baby Bonobo – “Kibibi”

Posted February 6, 2014

UPDATE: Our Zoo friends voted, and “Kibibi” is the baby bonobo’s name!

The Cincinnati Zoo is excited to introduce its newest addition – an eight-week-old bonobo (pronounced bah NO bow) to the public.  The baby girl was born on November 17, 2013 to mother “Kimia” and father “Vergil.”

Today, the Cincinnati Zoo kicked off a Facebook naming contest for the baby.   The Zoo will accept name suggestions on its Facebook page through Friday, February 7.  On Monday, February 10 the Zoo will post the top three finalists for the public to vote on.

This is the Cincinnati Zoo’s 8th bonobo birth.  The Cincinnati Zoo is only one of  8 zoos in the country to exhibit bonobos.   Sadly, there are few bonobos left in the wild and so they are considered the most endangered of the great apes.

Infant bonobos are born almost helpless and must be carried everywhere by their mothers for the first two years. A youngster stays close to its mother for several years while it grows and learns how to be a part of bonobo society.

Formerly called the pygmy chimp, the bonobo is slightly smaller than the common chimpanzee. Sharing more than 98% of its DNA with humans, the bonobo is our closest living relative. Like humans, bonobos live in family groups and are highly intelligent. Their diet consists of fruit, seeds, leaves, flowers, fungi, eggs, and small animals. Bonobos stand between 2.3 and 2.8 feet, and can weigh as much as 86 pounds.