Tuesday, November 13, 2007

San Diego Zoo Announces Rare Bonobo Birth

The San Diego Zoo's Children Zoo nursery is caring for two of the world's most critically endangered great apes, called bonobos, which are rarely seen in the wild or in zoos. With wild populations being decimated at alarming rates in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the recent birth of a male infant named Tutapenda on Oct. 29 is a significant milestone for conservation efforts.

Bonobos are a very rare and endangered species native only to the DRC. They are very closely related to humans sharing 98.4 percent DNA and they are on the brink of extinction. The San Diego Zoo is one of only a handful of zoological institutions in the United States who houses and care for this rare species.

Tutapenda, which means "we will love" in Swahili was rejected by his mother shortly after birth. To ensure his survival, keepers are caring for him in the Childrens Zoo nursery. He joins his two-month-old half-sister Mali who is also being hand-raised due to medical complications at birth.

Story here.

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