We 💚 World Bonobo Day

Posted February 14, 2023 by Markee Buchanan

When thinking about February 14th, the first thing that comes to mind is Valentine’s Day. On this day, we celebrate love and romance. This day is also shared with our closest living relatives, bonobos. World Bonobo Day is the day we celebrate a very peaceful, loving, kind ape species. Here at The Cincinnati Zoo, we care for 10 bonobos in total. They range from age 2- 43 years old. They all have their very own personalities. There is one individual I would like to highlight and that is Amali, the 2-year-old female bonobo.  

Amali was born on July 23, 2020. She is the daughter of Kesi and Vernon. Amali was the 11th bonobo born at The Cincinnati Zoo. We are one of eight institutions that care for bonobos. 

 It has been such a joy to see Amali grow over the last 2.5 years. She is very playful with not only other members of the bonobo troop but also with her care team. When Amali isn’t holding onto mom Kesi’s belly, she can be seen playing with fellow members of the troop, interacting with enrichment items, or exploring her surroundings. 

Care staff has started to notice, more and more, Amali being adventurous. Once Amali’s mind is on something, she goes for it regardless if mom tries to direct her attention elsewhere!   

Amali brings such joy and happiness to everyone around her. She LOVES interacting with her care staff. When doing a training session with Kesi and Amali, Amali is always eager to train with staff and even more eager to get all the food. Some of her favorite food items range from grapes, bananas, sweet peppers and cooked sweet potato.  

Bonobos are endangered, and likely to move to “critically endangered” soon. The Cincinnati Zoo has partnered with Friends of Bonobos, an organization that is dedicated to caring for young, orphaned bonobos. They operate the world’s only bonobo sanctuary, Lola ya Bonobo, to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned bonobos, and release bonobos to the wild in a 120,000-acre protected reserve. The organization also provides conservation education and community development programs in communities surrounding the bonobo habitat.

We are happy to announce there is now bonobo merchandise in our zoo gift shops. A portion of each sale is sent directly to Friends of Bonobos to help with all their conservation needs and help with the raising of orphaned bonobos.