Endangered bonobo born at Twycross Zoo

March 6, 2022
Nature
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Image Source: https://www.bbc.com/

A zoo has announced the birth of a bonobo, thought to be the first in the UK since 2019.

Upendi – which means love in Swahili – was born at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire to 25-year-old mum Cheka.

A spokesperson for the zoo said the new baby was “a significant boost” for the species.

The apes are an endangered species, with as few as 10,000 individuals left in the wild.

Dr Rebecca Biddle, head of Life sciences at Twycross, said: “The arrival of our new baby bonobo is an amazing achievement for the zoo.

“Twycross Zoo is home to 10% of the entire European population of bonobos so it’s vital that we work closely with other European Association of Zoos and Aquaria zoos to ensure that this population is sustainable for the long term.”

Twycross’ apes, the only bonobos at a UK zoo, moved into a new, larger enclosure last year, with 24-hour access to outside runs.

Fanny Minesi, general director of Friends of Bonobos of the Congo, said: “Bonobos are under increasing threat due to habitat loss and the illegal bushmeat trade, with as few as 10,000 left in the wild.

“They are our closest living relatives in the animal world, and much about them is still unknown. We’re grateful to Twycross Zoo for their long-standing support of this urgent mission.”

Story Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-60345342

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