Saturday, October 13, 2012 | Latest audio lessons → VOA Learning English
Saving Bonobos, the 'Make Love Not War' Apes
Bonobos live deep in the forest of the African Congo. Bonobos look like chimpanzees, but are a completely different species. Sally Coxe heads the Bonobo Conservation Initiative.
SALLY COXE: "Chimpanzees have a male-dominated society, whereas bonobos are matriarchal. The females are in charge. They have a more egalitarian and cooperative society than chimpanzees, and they are the only primate other than humans that has sex not just for procreation. So that's earned them the moniker as the 'make love not war' apes, or the 'hippie chimps' as it were." Irene Magafan made a film documentary called "The Bonobo Connection." She says the animals are endangered.
IRENE MAGAFAN: "The biggest threat to bonobos is by far the bush meat trade. People are hunting bonobos; they're killing these animals, and they're taking them back to market to sell them." There may be as few as 7,000 bonobos left in the wild. All of them live in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Bonobo Conservation Initiative has worked with the government and local community to set up two protected nature reserves. And an area near Kinshasa is home to Lola Ya Bonobo -- the world's only wildlife sanctuary for bonobos.
SALLY COXE: "Meeting a bonobo is not like anything else on this earth.